Our Tacoma personal injury attorneys work on a Contingent Fee Basis.
No Recovery! No Fee! (Costs Only)
The word "plaintiff" refers to the party who is making a legal claim against another party. Generally, if an accident victim has to file a lawsuit against the negligent party who caused their injuries, the accident victim will be the "plaintiff".
The word "defendant" refers to the party who is being sued. In a personal injury case, the "defendant" will generally be the party whose negligence was the cause of injury and damages suffered by the plaintiff.
Not every injury claim will require a lawsuit. A "lawsuit" is where a claim against another party is filed with a Court. In most circumstances, before a lawsuit is filed, the attorneys will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party's insurance company.
However, if an insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit, in order to protect the rights of the accident victim, and to try and guarantee that justice is done.
A "frivolous lawsuit" is a lawsuit which has no legal or factual merit. A "frivolous lawsuit" is a case which has absolutely no likelihood of being successful, and which should be thrown out of court to avoid wasting time and resources. IIf an attorney files a lawsuit which has no merit, the Judge will dismiss that lawsuit before it is ever heard by a jury.
The term "frivolous lawsuit" is often misused. People will sometimes criticize a case as "frivolous" because they don't agree with the outcome. Many people remember the "McDonalds" case from the early 1990's, where a restaurant was sued because they were serving coffee at a temperature so hot that it was causing the styrofoam cups to melt, resulting in horrible scalding burns to the thighs of an elderly woman. The McDonalds store had been issued multiple citations by the Department of Health because of the unsafe coffee temperature, but refused to comply with the Health Department. The McDonalds case was not frivolous, because the Court determined that if McDonalds had obeyed the law and complied with the safety codes, the victim's coffee cup would not have melted and she would not have suffered scalding burns to her thighs.
At the LAW OFFICES OF PAINE, KILPATRICK, COLEMAN & MAHONEY, we will give our clients honest advice on the relative merits of their case. If a case is frivolous, we won't take it on. But we are ready to fight to protect the rights of any client who rightfully deserves compensation due to harm caused by the negligence of someone else.
When an insurance company or major corporation wants to hire an attorney to pursue their interests, they usually have the financial resources to pay their attorneys on an hourly basis.
But justice is not only for the wealthy. When the average person is injured due to the negligence of another, they may well not have the financial resources to hire an attorney on an hourly basis. That does not mean that they should be denied access to the courts or access to justice.
At the Law Offices of Paine, Kilpatrick, Coleman & Mahoney, P.C., most of our clients chose to hire us on the basis of a "contingent fee." Under a contingent fee, the client pays no money up front. Instead, it is agreed that the attorney will be paid out of the final settlement or recovery, and that the attorney fee will be a set percentage of the final recovery.
In most cases, it will be agreed that the attorney fee will be 1/3 of the final recovery.
Under a contingent fee arrangement, in the event that there is no recovery or settlement, the client would not owe any attorney fee.