Most injury victims do not have sufficient financial resources to pay attorneys tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to pursue a claim on their behalf, particularly while inundated with unexpected medical expenses and lost earnings. For this reason, the attorneys at Mishkind Kulwicki Law provide legal services pursuant to a contingent fee contract. A contingent fee is stated in terms of a percentage of the total recovery. In other words, your attorneys will be paid if and only if they recover money on your behalf, and the fee will be equal the agreed-upon percentage multiplied by the amount of the total recovery. The fee percentage depends upon the circumstances of a particular case. For example, a lower fee may be charged in motor vehicle cases because they do not involve the time, expense and risk associated with medical malpractice litigation. Likewise, a higher fee may be charged if the matter goes to trial and a lower fee may charged if the matter is settled before suit is filed.
Our fee percentage, as set forth in our contingent fee agreement, is consistent with industry standards. Further, our contingent fee agreement complies with all ethical rules that apply to Ohio lawyers.
In addition to fees, there are expenses. The expenses associated with some injury litigation can be monumental. For example, in medical negligence cases, case expenses, including expert fees, court costs, deposition fees, travel expenses, costs for trial exhibits and the like, can exceed $100,000.00. As part of the contingent fee agreement, Mishkind Kulwicki Law will typically advance payment for expenses incurred during the course of litigation. If and only if a recovery is made, the attorneys will be reimbursed for these case expenses after attorney fees are paid. If there is no recovery, the client does not owe for the case expenses.
Critics argue that contingent fees make it too easy for clients to sue. The other side of this coin is that without contingent fees, courts would be reserved only for the wealthiest members of society. Average citizens would have no recourse even when seriously injured by another’s negligence. It should also be understood that there are many checks and balances in place to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Lawyers are subject to sanctions for frivolous lawsuits. Judges are vested with the authority to dismiss nonmeritorious cases. Finally, juries can reject cases with which they disagree, even after the judge has determined that the dispute between the parties is legitimate.