Los Angeles, CA asked in Contracts, Personal Injury and Civil Litigation for California

Q: settlement is reached b4 filing a lawsuit then attorneys fees will be 33%. PI never served complaint? Still a lawsuit?

Personal injury lawyer never served complaint after filing it and summons. Complaint did not outline my case, my injuries or defendants negligence.

On (date): July 19, 2019 plaintiff was injured on the following premises in the following.


fashion (description ofpremises and circumstances of injury):

Defendants negligently, recklessly or unlawfully, owned, managed, inspected, maintained, repaired, operated, or controlled their property so as to cause Plaintiff to trip and fall, thereby proximately causing bodily injuries and other damages to Plaintiff as alleged in this Complaint and are to be proven at the time of trial.

He did nothing to prepare me or my case for trial. He had the case a year and a half already.

He had not sent a Demand letter yet.

January emails me of possible offer. He failed to include all medical bills and records.

No communication with me I refuse and now he wants to withdraw. Expects 40% fee. I have to find a new lawyer. Faul not an issue

3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If a settlement has been reached before a lawsuit is filed, it may be possible to negotiate the attorney's fees. The attorney's fees are typically a percentage of the settlement amount, which can be negotiated before the settlement agreement is signed.

William John Light
William John Light
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The fee is whatever the retainer agreement specifies. Changing attorneys won't alter that. Your original attorney will have a strong claim to almost the entire fee charged by your new attorney because the original attorney negotiated the settlement amount. You probably won't be able to find a new attorney to take over because of that.

Patrick William Steinfeld
Patrick William Steinfeld
  • Coronado, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I don't think you'll find a new lawyer to take over because your new lawyer would have to share fees with your current attorney. Sometimes filing is necessary to leverage a settlement. So there may be a valid reason for the lawsuit. However, there are some attorneys who will file a lawsuit just to increase attorneys fees. The fact that no demand was sent in 1 1/2 years prior to litigation raises a red flag.

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