It is sometimes assumed that retaining a top-rated personal injury attorney will be an expensive endeavor. As such, attorney Matt Boulton is often asked how much it costs to hire Boulton Law Group. His quick answer: “Not a dime!”
Instead of charging an hourly rate, Matt offers all accident victims the opportunity to hire him by signing a contingent fee retainer agreement.
If you are unfamiliar with contingency fee agreements, the idea is quite simple. In exchange for your signature on an official copy of the agreement, Matt and Boulton Law Group will begin working on your personal injury case at no cost to you. Also, you will never be asked to pay any upfront fees while your case is ongoing. In short, you owe the firm nothing unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
It is not uncommon for personal injury law firms to offer contingency fee retainer agreements to their clients, however, the terms of the retainer can differ from firm to firm.
With that in mind, we are sharing the terms of Boulton Law Group’s 13-term retainer agreement and providing a simple explanation of each term to help accident victims better understand what it is they are signing before they hire us.
Terms of Boulton Law Group’s Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement
- CLIENT hereby Retains ATTORNEYS to prosecute or adjust all claims for CLIENT’S bodily injury damages known or which may arise in the future, because of the above-referenced incident. ATTORNEYS shall take all legal steps necessary to enforce CLIENT’S bodily injury claim including investigation, preparation, and trial of any action filed in connection with CLIENT’S bodily injury claim. Attorneys are not employed to represent Client in regard to claims for any property damage, worker’s compensation, medical malpractice, and/or products liability arising from or related to the incident, unless specifically agreed to in writing.
This signals the attorney-client relationship. It states that the person is officially hiring Boulton Law Group to represent them for their personal injury claim. However, it does not include any secondary claims, such as “property damage.” If a client wishes to pursue any additional claims related to the incident, it will need to be outlined in an amended or separate agreement.
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- ATTORNEYS may void this agreement if upon a more complete investigation, research or evaluation; it is ATTORNEY’S professional opinion that CLIENT does not have a meritorious or viable claim. In addition, ATTORNEYS may withdraw in the following situations: 1) If CLIENT refuses to communicate and cooperate in the development and prosecution of the case; 2) if CLIENT is dishonest with ATTORNEYS regarding any issue related to the case; or 3) for any reason set forth in the Code of Professional Responsibility. Any withdrawal by ATTORNEYS will be provided in writing at CLIENT’S last known address.
Sometimes all of the case facts are not available at the time we are hired. This paragraph explains that the law firm has the right to excuse itself from further representation if new information or evidence is introduced that affects the case’s liability. Additionally, if a client has been dishonest or uncooperative, it is also within our rights to discontinue representation.
- ATTORNEYS are not to compromise or settle CLIENT’S claim without CLIENT’S express consent. CLIENT hereby grants ATTORNEYS the right to endorse all settlement checks, drafts, or other instruments of payment received in regards to this case on CLIENT’S behalf so long as all such proceeds are deposited into ATTORNEY’S Trust Account and a full accounting of the proposed distribution is provided in writing.
Boulton Law Group will never settle a client’s case until we have been given permission to do so. Typically, Matt will contact the client after receiving an offer from the insurance company and provide guidance on whether or not he believes it is best at this point to settle the case, make a counter-offer, or file a lawsuit and prepare for trial.
- ATTORNEYS are to handle CLIENT’S claim on a contingency fee basis, so that if there is no recovery or settlement monies received then there will be no legal fee payable by CLIENT to ATTORNEYS. The contingency fee is calculated on the gross settlement or the total judgment before the deduction of costs and expenses as discussed herein, liens, and medical expenses. In cases where the client is to receive a recovery that will be paid to the client on a future, structured or periodic basis, the contingency fee percentage shall only be calculated on the cost of the structured verdict or settlement, or if the cost is unknown, on the present value of the structured verdict or settlement.
Our clients pay us nothing until we win their case! Additionally, the firm’s fees are calculated based on the total compensation amount tendered by the insurance company. For example, if Geico is the defendant’s insurance company, and they made an agreed-upon settlement offer of $30,000.00, the firm’s contingency fee would be calculated based on that total.
- In consideration of ATTORNEYS’ services rendered and to be rendered, CLIENT hereby agrees to pay ATTORNEYS and ATTORNEYS are hereby authorized to retain out of any amount that may be recovered, as ATTORNEYS’ contingent fee: The sum of one-third (33 1/3%) of the gross amount received by way of any settlement, recovery and/or verdict. The fee covers the services of any and all lawyers employed by or associated with ATTORNEYS in connection with CLIENT’S claim.
The total amount of the firm’s contingent fees amounts to one-third or 33 1/3% of the total compensation amount that is tendered by the insurance company through a verdict or settlement. In the example above, we used $30,000.00 as the total settlement offer made by the insurance company. Using this amount, the firm’s fees would amount to $10,000.00.
- If the CLIENT terminates this Agreement, or if ATTORNEYS withdraw for any reason prior to trial or settlement of this matter, then ATTORNEYS shall be reimbursed by Client for all costs and expenses paid and/or incurred by Attorneys. ATTORNEYS may also be entitled to a fee for their services provided based upon quantum meruit under Indiana law, including the time and labor involved and/or any settlement offers received. CLIENT agrees that ATTORNEYS shall have a lien against any recovery received by CLIENT for the full amount of these fees, costs and expenses.
Should either party determine that it is in the client’s best interest to seek the services of another attorney, the firm has the right to be reimbursed for the costs and work put into the case up to that point. Typically, a lien letter will be issued to the new attorney to advise them of these costs, and the agreed-upon amount would be received from any future settlement or verdict.
- ATTORNEYS agree to advance necessary costs and litigation expenses in pursuing said claim. Specific case expenses such as court costs, mediation fees, medical records and opinions, investigation (if needed), photos, depositions, expert fees and expenses and other costs, such as commercial copying services, courier mail services, and the like, will be paid by ATTORNEYS and reimbursed by the CLIENT at the conclusion of the representation. Any expenses or costs paid or incurred by ATTORNEYS shall be reimbursed as provided in Paragraphs 4 and 6.
The firm will front the costs for any expenses related to a client’s case, including things as simple as the police report, or as complex as expert witness depositions. All costs related to the case will be explained and provided to clients in an accounting statement and recouped by the firm separate from the contingent fee amount in Paragraph 5.
- CLIENT understands that if a health insurance company, Medicare and/or Medicaid paid for all or part of the CLIENT’S care, there will be liens against any settlement or judgment. CLIENT authorizes ATTORNEYS to negotiate the liens to the lowest possible amount on CLIENT’S behalf. CLIENT understands that the above described liens must be paid up front out of the settlement proceeds before any proceeds can be distributed to CLIENT.
If there are health insurance bills associated with a client’s claim, Boulton Law Group will attempt to work with the providers to reduce what is owed, however, any remaining amount will need to be paid to the carrier before the client receives their check.
- Upon completion of the claim or case the ATTORNEYS shall prepare a settlement statement showing an accounting of all proceeds for fees, costs and expenses incurred, payment of any liens, other payment distributions, and the proceeds to CLIENT, and the proceeds shall be disbursed accordingly.
This statement provides every client with a simple accounting of all the costs associated with their case. We show clients where every penny went.
- CLIENT acknowledges that ATTORNEYS have not made any promises or warranties regarding the validity or outcome of this case, or the size of any expected recovery. CLIENT has retained ATTORNEYS after personal consultation and upon CLIENT’S individual discretion. ATTORNEYS will handle the case in a professional and workmanlike manner in accordance with the standards of similar practitioners.
Simply put, Boulton Law Group will never guarantee clients a specific dollar amount or outcome concerning their case. Not only is it forbidden by Indiana law, but it is also not possible. Every case has unique circumstances, and the specific details of a client’s case are what determines the outcome.
- CLIENT has been given a copy of this Agreement to read and review and has been given the opportunity to take it home and review it before signing. CLIENT has been offered the chance to ask questions about the terms and conditions of the Agreement. CLIENT has read and reviewed this Agreement and believes to understand its terms and enters into this Agreement of CLIENT’S own free will, without duress or coercion.
We want to make sure you fully understand the terms of the agreement before signing, and that you are doing so fully informed and without feeling any obligation to do so. This term simply says that you feel comfortable in your decision to hire Boulton Law Group.
*Please remember, the information provided in this blog and on the Boulton Law Group (BLG) website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Additionally, visitors are not entering into any attorney/client relationship until the official Retainer is signed by the client and an authorized authority of BLG. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.
Questions About Your Accident Claim?
If you were involved in an accident and are unsure of your next steps, attorney Matt Boulton offers free and friendly advice that can help to explain your legal rights under Indiana law.
Boulton Law Group offers all Hoosiers a Zero Fee Guarantee following an accident, meaning you will never pay for legal advice and you owe the firm nothing unless we win your case.
If you wish to send us your story via our website, you may use our confidential contact form. Matt personally reviews every web submission received at the firm.