How do You Pay for an Attorney?

Every law firm and every case is different. However, most attorneys are paid by the hour, by the project or on a contingency fee. 

Most people can’t afford to pay an attorney by the hour – it’s too expensive and there’s no way to know how much it will ultimately cost. Paying by the project gives the client more certainty but still is cost prohibitive to many people. As a result, the vast majority of insurance cases are handled on a contingency basis.  

A contingency claim essentially means that the attorney doesn’t get paid unless and until you do. Percentages vary but the most an attorney is permitted to charge under Oklahoma law is 50% of the recovery.  

Kane Advocates typically utilizes a tiered system. If the claim is resolved before litigation, we collect 35%. If it is resolved after litigation is filed but before we have to draft or respond to a summary judgment motion, we collect 40%. From summary judgment through appeal, we charge 45%. We have found that this approach provides you with the best opportunity to keep the largest share of any settlement or verdict, while we are able best account for how much we have expended in time and money to resolve the case. 

Expenses are also another key consideration. Some law firms will pay expenses solely from the client’s share. In other words, if there is a settlement for $100 and expenses of $20, a 50/50 split would result in $50 to the attorney but only $30 to the client. We will never accept more from a settlement than you do, so we take the expenses off the top. Using our approach, and assuming the case went to trial, the client would receive $44 and we would receive $36. The difference between $44 and $30 is a pretty big one, especially in cases where damages are significant.  

Again, each case is different, so numbers may change. But, at the end of the day, we are here to get you what you deserve, and that means treating you right. 

Our firm may not be the right fit for you or your case. We hope that isn’t true, but it does happen. Regardless, be sure to ask whatever attorney you engage about their willingness to use a tiered system and how expenses will be split up – it makes a big difference to your bottom line.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed until you enter into a retention agreement with us.
Female attorney advising young women at her computer.

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If you don’t know what to do or you’re unsure if you have a case, just call. We are here to help you navigate the complex world of insurance claims.