How We Get Paid
At McGee, Lerer & Associates, we’re committed to being 100% forthright and transparent about our fee. It’s important to us that you understand how we are paid and what we are paid.
Pay Us Nothing Upfront
You pay us nothing upfront to hire us. We get paid after the case settles, out of the money we collect for you from the insurance carrier.
We handle all cases on a “contingency fee” basis. It is called a “contingency fee” because our payment is contingent on collecting money for you. If we collect nothing for you, we are paid nothing. We can’t take every case. We take only the cases where we feel confident that we can get financial justice for our clients. (And if we can’t take your case, we’ll be honest with you why, and we’ll make every effort to refer you to an attorney who can.)
Our Payment Comes from the Money the Insurance Company Pays
You never cut us a check. Our payment comes from the money the insurance company pays to settle your personal injury claim. We take a percentage of the money we collect from the insurance company.
The Percentage We Charge
Below are the percentages we charge. Most personal injury lawyers charge the same fee structure.
- 33 1/3% if the case settles before a lawsuit is filed (or arbitration demanded if it’s an uninsured or underinsured motorist case). This is usually our fee because most of the cases we handle are settled before a lawsuit is filed or arbitration demanded
- 40% if the case settles after a lawsuit is filed (or arbitration demanded if it’s an uninsured or underinsured motorist case)
- 25% if our client is a minor (under the age of 18)
Because we get paid a percentage of what we collect for you, we are motivated to get you the most amount of money possible. That’s the built-in incentive of a contingency fee: the more money we get our client, the more money McGee, Lerer and Associates receives. Our client and our firm are a team with a shared goal: recover the maximum compensation for our clients.
How the Costs Work
We often incur some costs in working up a case. “Costs” are the checks we have had to cut along the way. After settlement, we are reimbursed on our costs out of the money we collected for you. Sometimes the costs are zero. Sometimes the costs may include, but are not limited to: the cost of the police report, the cost your medical providers charged us to send copies of your medical records, or the cost an investigator charges us to do an asset check on the at-fault party. We are careful about the costs we incur because we know that the costs come out of your money later, and we want to maximize the amount of money you receive.
In addition to being able to work on a contingency fee basis, our clients also benefit from the free consultation our lawyers provide. At absolutely no charge, accident victims can meet with attorneys Daniel McGee or Catherine Lerer to discuss their case and their legal options and potential outcome. We are flexible and want to make it convenient for our clients, so we are able to meet with you at any time and location that is convenient for you.
See a Sample Personal Injury Settlement Breakdown
Click on the sample settlement breakdown, detailing how the settlement is divided up. Seeing an actual breakdown can make it easier to understand our fee. You will see that our fee comes off the top (whatever the case settled for), then we deduct any costs incurred, then we pay any money owed to medical providers or health insurance companies. The remaining balance is paid to our client.
As to money owed to medical providers: once your case has settled, one of the services we provide (at no additional charge) is to negotiate with your medical providers and try to obtain a reduction of their bills. 100% of any reduction we obtain is paid to you. (Some law firms take a percentage of the reduction they obtain.)
A note about health insurance companies: If your health insurance carrier (including Medi-Cal and Medicare) paid for any accident-related bills, then, pursuant to your health insurance contract, the carrier will demand to be reimbursed if you obtain a settlement from the at-fault party. Just like with medical providers, our firm will (at no additional charge) negotiate with the health insurance carrier in order to obtain a reduction on their reimbursement claim. 100% of any reduction we obtain goes to you. (Like with reductions obtained from medical provider’s, some law firms take a percentage on reductions obtained from health insurance companies.)
Most of our clients have never had to hire a personal injury lawyer before. It can be a stressful, scary and confusing time. You are hiring us to help alleviate that stress and confusion. We don’t want to compound your feelings of vulnerability by having you sign a retainer agreement that you don’t fully understand. We don’t want you to be embarrassed about asking us to explain it. If you still have questions, the attorneys at McGee, Lerer & Associates are available to answer those questions. Contact us today for a free consultation.
We have 5 offices in Southern California - Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Long Beach & Valencia
We can be available nights and weekends and come to you at the hospital or at home.
If we are unsuccessful in our efforts to recover your compensation, you owe nothing. Learn more here.
We take the time to understand all the unique factors of your case to achieve the best results.