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Our Contingency Fees

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Vaage Law > Contingency Fees

Contingency Fees

Merriam-Webster online defines a “contingency fee” as a “fee for services (as of a lawyer) paid upon successful completion of the services and usually calculated as a percentage of the gain realized for the client.” What that percentage is depends on the attorney and the type of case.

For example, the contingency percentage for medical negligence (medical malpractice) cases against a health care provider starting January 1, 2023, is set by law in California Business & Professions Code section 6146:

(1) Twenty-five percent of the dollar amount recovered if the recovery is pursuant to settlement agreement and release of all claims executed by all parties thereto prior to a civil complaint or demand for arbitration being filed.

(2) Thirty-three percent of the dollar amount recovered if the recovery is pursuant to settlement, arbitration, or judgment after a civil complaint or demand for arbitration is filed.

(3) If an action is tried in a civil court or arbitrated, the attorney representing the plaintiff or claimant may file a motion with the court or arbitrator for a contingency fee in excess of the percentage stated in paragraph (2), which motion shall be filed and served on all parties to the action and decided in the court’s discretion based on evidence establishing good cause for the higher contingency fee.

The limitations shall apply regardless of whether the recovery is by settlement, arbitration, or judgment, or whether the person for whom the recovery is made is a responsible adult, an infant, or a person of unsound mind.

For non-medical malpractice cases, contingency percentages range anywhere from 33-1/3% to 40% depending on the complexity of the case, the proximity to trial, and the amount of work the attorney anticipates will be required.

Most clients cannot afford to pay an attorney his or her hourly rate to represent them in a personal injury or wrongful death case. The contingency fee allows everyone to have access to the court system because attorneys are willing to front their time and money on behalf of the client. Contingency Fee firms, like Vaage Law, have a vested interest in providing the best possible representation in order to help their clients recover the full value for their harms and losses. If the case is lost without any recovery, the attorney receives no fees for services.

Costs Advanced

Pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death case can be expensive, especially if there are multiple experts required. Costs include everything from court reporter fees to expert fees. The average medical malpractice case can cost anywhere between $100,000 to $200,000 through trial or arbitration, and sometimes more. That’s why it is important to find an attorney who has the resources to front these costs for the client. At Vaage Law, we pay for the costs in advance and reimburse the costs from any recovery received. If we lose the case, we write off those costs; you will not owe us anything.

Ready to enlist our legal services? Call us at (619) 338-0505 to request a free consultation.

More Than $150 Million Recovered

Our firm has recovered more than $150 million in compensation for our clients during our more than 35 years of experience. From the moment a potential client contacts our office, we are investigating and analyzing the case, looking at potential theories of recovery and determining what types of experts may be required.

Should you entrust your case to our firm, you can also expect the following:

  • Reliable and consistent communication with the firm
  • Thorough explanation of theories, potential settlement value, strengths and weaknesses of the case
  • Focus groups to see how others in the community view and value the case
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Seasoned trial skills in the event the case does not settle

Speak with Our San Diego Personal Injury Attorney

We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our contingency fee policy. For the individualized and dedicated legal services you need for your San Diego personal injury or wrongful death case, turn to us at Vaage Law.




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