Attorney’s Fee on a Personal Injury Case in Queens

All personal injury attorneys love to tell their clients, “There  is no fee unless we recover money for you.”  Well, as of February 19, 2014, that may change because a new law has gone into effect for lawyers in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island stating that the client now gets to decide if he/she wants the “no recovery, no fee” option.

Option 1 – Client Pays for Disbursements

Under this option, the client elects to lay out the money for any and all expenses to prosecute the claim or lawsuit (e.g., fees for obtaining medical records, purchasing deposition transcripts, hiring an investigator or expert witness, court costs, etc.).  If the recovery is $0, then the client loses the money he/she paid out.  If there is a recovery (settlement or verdict), then the expenses come off the top to pay back the client, and the remainder is split two-thirds to the client and one-third to the attorney.

Option 2 – Attorney  Pays for Disbursements

Under this option, the attorney lays out any and all money to prosecute the claim or lawsuit.  If the recovery is $0, then the attorney loses the money he/she paid out.  If there is a recovery, then the attorney gets one-third of the gross proceeds plus the money he/she laid out; the client gets whatever is left over.

Simply put, the client receives a larger percentage of the recovery under Option 1, but he/she assumes the risk of losing all of the money that was laid out.  In Option 2, the client gets a smaller percentage, but assumes none of the risk.

Most other states utilize Option 2. New York was one of only a handful of states that utilized Option 1 with a twist- i.e., the attorney laid out the expenses and assumed the risk of never getting that money back.

If you’d like to learn more about this new law, feel free to call Queens Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Dreishpoon, Esq. at anytime at 718-793-5555.

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