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Legal Fee Percentage for Wrongful Death Lawsuits Settled Out-of-Court - The Larsen Firm

Legal Fee Percentage for Wrongful Death Lawsuits Settled Out-of-Court

No one is prepared for the sudden loss of a loved one. Not only does an accidental death leave a family in emotional shock, but it could also leave them in dire financial straits. Unexpected costs like funeral and burial fees, medical expenses for treatment before death, and the loss of income can overwhelm a family still reeling from their loss. Therefore, filing a wrongful death lawsuit can help ease the financial burden on the grieving family.  

When hiring an attorney, you need to ask what they charge before agreeing to representation. You might be wondering, If a wrongful death case is settled outside of court, what percentage goes to the lawyer? The wrongful death attorneys from The Larsen Firm will answer your questions and talk frankly with you about their contingency fee structure. 

How Much Do Wrongful Death Lawyers Usually Take from a Settlement? 

Many victims wonder, What percentage do lawyers take from my settlement? California wrongful death lawyers take cases on a contingency basis. That means the person who wants to pursue legal action does not have to pay any money out of their pocket for a lawyer. They don’t put down a retainer or pay any money until the lawyer wins them compensation. 

Contingency fee agreements incentivize the lawyer to maximize their client’s recovery. It is the quintessential win-win situation—the better the lawyer performs, the more money the client and the lawyer get in the end. A lawyer who does not win any recovery for their client will simply not get paid.

A contingency fee agreement ensures that a plaintiff never has to pay for anything unless they win recovery. However, if you get an award, your attorney can recover expenses advanced to you for expert witness fees, presentation costs, deposition costs, medical record copying fees, filing fees, and all other costs of litigation. All of the litigation costs will be deducted from your settlement as well as the attorney’s contingency percentage.

What Does It Mean to Settle Out-of-Court, and How Does That Affect Lawyer’s Fees?

Settling a case “out-of-court” means that your lawyers have collected evidence, negotiated with the other side, and reached a fair resolution without the need for filing a formal lawsuit. This is usually the quickest and most beneficial way to settle a case—and is greatly preferred over the costly and time-consuming process of taking a case to trial.

Escalating Contingency Fees

Some attorneys use an escalating contingency fee agreement. This type of arrangement stipulates the percentage the lawyer will take as a fee based on the status of the case at the time it resolves.

Therefore, some attorneys might charge a 25% contingency fee if the case settles out-of-court. The fee typically increases to 33.3% if negotiations fail and a lawsuit must be filed. Then, the fee could increase to 40% if the lawyer takes the case all the way to trial. The fee could go even higher if the lawyer has to appeal the case. 

Flat Fees

As you can see, the more work and time the lawyer spends on a case, the higher the fee could go. But not every lawyer uses a fee agreement that works in this manner. Some charge a flat 33.3% no matter what stage the case is in when it resolves. There are pros and cons to this approach, and you can discuss this with your lawyer before signing your contract. 

When you meet with a lawyer from The Larsen Firm about your wrongful death claim, you can rest assured that we will thoroughly explain our contingency fee structure. Openly discussing these matters fosters a trusting and nurturing attorney-client relationship.

Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

California’s wrongful death statute identifies the parties allowed to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits seek to compensate the decedent’s surviving family for their loss. Consequently, the statute permits spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren, and people directly dependent on the person who died to recover damages from a wrongful death claim. The law further allows parents of a child who died to collect in a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death action on behalf of the individuals permitted to recover under the law.

Get On The Road to Financial Recovery Today

At The Larsen Firm, we put our clients’ needs first. Not only do we have the backing of 40-plus years of experience, but we also have a massive network of experts, investigators, and analysts that help us maximize your financial recovery. Our track record speaks for itself. To date, we have recovered nearly $1 billion in damages for our clients. Contact us today at 855-508-9565 to see how we can help you.

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