Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service can refer a client to an experienced and qualified attorney who can handle their personal injury case personally. You will be dealing with our member attorney from the outset…not a partner or associate of the attorney. We have more than two dozen attorneys who handle automobile personal injury matters, from Fort Collins to Boulder to metro Denver, just as an example.
A personal injury case may be brought for “compensatory” or “punitive” damages. Damages may include medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
The personal injury attorneys associated with Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service will usually not take a case on a punitive basis alone. There must be significant financial damages, at a minimum, for our attorneys to consider taking the case on a contingency basis. If your damages do not exceed $7,500, it might make more financial sense for you to consider using small claims court in Colorado.
In the classic example of a medical malpractice case, a surgeon leaves a scalpel in the patient and sews them up. They go to a second surgeon to have the scalpel removed and sue the first surgeon for reimbursement of the out-of-pocket dollars they spent to have the second surgery. Similarly, with legal malpractice as an example, the client might sue to recover the dollars spent on a second attorney, when the first attorney's incompetence caused the client to lose a case and they had to appeal the outcome. Damages can take other forms, such as when you lose a highly paid position directly as the result of a negligence...as can happen in "wrongful termination" situations, where you have been discriminated against because of your race, religion, sexual orientation or age.
Many people seem to misunderstand the term “contingency fee agreement.” Some mistakenly believe that a lawyer will take most any case on a contingency basis, and the truth is that each attorney looks at each case to try to determine whether to offer this special arrangement.
The attorney considers the likelihood of recovery when evaluating the feasibility of a contingency fee agreement. The amount of the suit must bear a direct relationship to the client’s actual damages, and the attorney’s share of the award should be enough to cover his or her legal fees.
If the attorney and client enter into a contingency fee agreement, and if the client wins the case or settles out of court, a designated percentage of the award will be set aside for the attorney. This percentage may be, for example, 30% of the client’s award. The client, then, receives in this case 70% of the award. Sometimes the percentage will be different if they settle out of court or win the case at trial. It can be more or less, depending on circumstances.
If a client has a contingency fee agreement with his or her attorney, and they lose the case, the client will not be required to pay the attorney for their legal fees. But they may still be required to pay the attorney reimbursement of expenses and court costs that have been advanced by the attorney.
Be sure your contingency fee agreement is explicit about all of these questions. You should request an estimate of expenses and know whether your award will be reduced by attorney’s fees and expenses, or by fees alone.