Visitor Question

Auto Injury Case – How are the lawyer fee & medical bills paid?

Submitted By: Kim (Wasilla, Alaska, USA)

Car accident 11/09 – I hired an attorney, who I have never met and only had dealings with the paralegal.

The case has been settled. However, the attorney shows that the proceeds were the check received from the insurance companies and also the amount used from my insurance company for medical bills. Is this correct? I feel the proceeds are only the check from my insurance and the other insurance company.

Also, the attorney has shown that they are to receive 40% of the above stated monies. Once they have received their payment, then the remaining balance on the medical bills are paid. Isn’t this considered double dipping?

In my opinion, it should be as follows….

Insurance check #1 + Insurance check #2. Remaining balance on medical bills should be paid. Attorney fee of 40% to be calculated from the remaining balance. What is the correct method? Please help. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Kim,

When you retain an attorney for a personal injury case, typically the fee agreement will specify that the amount to be recovered is 33% but if the case is filed and discovery commences, the fee will increase to 40%.

So you will need to look at the fee agreement to determine whether they are taking the correct percentage.

Secondly, the fees should be as follows:

Gross amount received from insurance company(s) Check #1 + Check #2 = Total settlement

From this, your attorney would take his/her percentage and then subtract expenses that the attorney covered such as filing fees, process serving, etc.

The remainder is for you and most of the time you will need to pay your medical expenses from the aggregate settlement.

Most medical providers will reduce the bill by as much as 70% and some will even write it off completely.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 3, 2010

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