Hi this is Brian Wiklendt with Garfinkel Schwartz. I’m coming to you from Maitland Florida office today. We also have an office in Cocoa Beach Florida which is near the Port on the East coast of Florida.
I’m talking to you today about No Risk Attorney Fees and you can watch this in a video called “No Risk Attorney Fees” on our YouTube channel.
We call them no risk attorney’s fees because the attorney’s fees are under a Federal law that’s called the Longshore Act and is a subset of it is the Defense Base Act. That’s the type of law we practice.
Garfinkel Schwartz: No Risk Attorney Fees
In this in this area of law attorney’s fees are very advantageous for clients because the attorney’s fees are negotiated and paid completely separate from whatever benefits you are entitled to.
Under the Defense Base Act and Longshore Act we call it No Risk because the way our firm works is that I screen the clients. And when we determine that we’re going to help and you’re going to sign up with our firm, that’s me making a risk determination that you are entitled to benefits. Whether that be medical benefits or money benefits it doesn’t matter I take the risk with you.
We Advance All Costs in Your Case
We take the risk with you here at Garfinkel Schwartz. We advance all the costs in the matter and we don’t ask for a dime from you ever. And we’re taking the risk that we’re going to get benefits for you sooner or later.
You Don’t Pay Our Fees
The way that we get paid is simply my hourly rate wherever I am in the country. With the prevailing hourly rate wherever I am, times the number of hours that it took me to get whatever benefit you got after you had to hire an attorney.
You Receive Your Money in Your Check
That money is paid completely separate from your money. We take no percentage: nothing. It’s negotiated separately with the insurance company or directly with the employer whoever is on the hook for the benefit that they had to pay you that they denied you previously.
Separate checks come. You get a check in the mail directly to your home usually by FedEx so that they can track it. We get checks completely separately to our law firm for our hourly rate times the number of hours we spent.
All of our fees have to be approved by the Department of Labor. There’s a form–a retainer form–that I cannot change and that’s a form drafted by the Department of Labor.
You’ll Only Pay Us If You Leave Us and Win
The only time that you would ever pay any money in any circumstance for legal fees in this area of law–at least the way that our firm does it–is if you fired the firm and then later you got benefits conferred upon yourself.
We would be able to file a lien on the proceeds to get back the hours in time that we used to earn you your benefit. That happens unbelievably rarely, obviously, but that is our right: that we would be able to take money out of a settlement if that occurred. If you left our firm after we put in all the work and another firm goes to your final resolution.
Like I said that happens very rarely in terms of percentages everyone always mixes the stuff up with state workers compensation type things. There’s no percentage, meaning we’re not allowed to charge a percentage.
No Lawyer Should Take Money From You
If a lawyer charged you a percentage in this type of you case, you know that they’re doing something wrong – that they don’t know what they’re doing. Because the law is the hourly rate approved by the Department of Labor, times number of hours that I expended on the claim, plus the cost that we advance on your behalf.
If You Win, We Receive Only the Medical Evaluations Advanced
Those costs may include medical evaluations that we that we advance on your behalf. Not treatment: we are not allowed to pay for treatment and we cannot pay for your medical evaluations to see exactly what’s wrong with you.
We use the medical evaluations because usually you’ll have to combat the insurance company who is saying there is nothing wrong with you. It’s advanced costs for deposition transcripts, mediation services–if any arise.
Medical records that we have to gather on your behalf. Those are all costs that are advanced that will be recouped if we get a benefit for you.
If we lose for some reason and we don’t get a benefit for you then I took a bad risk and we take the hit for that.
If We Lose, We Take Nothing From You
So if we lose we don’t ask you for any money. If we win then the money we get is completely separate from the insurance company or the carrier.
I hope that clarifies the attorney fees situation. So the reason the law is out there is for your benefit to get counsel to go against the giant insurance companies that have counsel and an army of lawyers on their side.
The Reason You Don’t Pay
If you would have to pay for an attorney, when you’re not being paid any financial benefits you’re due, you don’t have any money. How would you be able to hire a lawyer and pay them an hourly rate or take a big chunk of a percentage of your surgery money or medical treatment money or indemnity money that you have.
Not a Contingency With a Percentage
In other areas of law like personal injury, lawyers take a percentage and that that helps the client because they wouldn’t be able to pay an hourly rate. That’s why contingency fees exist. In this area of law, like I said, it’s contingent on getting a benefit but it’s not a contingency with a percentage.
So I hope this helps your understanding of our fees. Please call us anytime. It’s always free. No just a free consultation, it’s a free everything from here on in until you get the benefits you deserve.
So like I said, we call no risk and it really truly is no risk to you unless you fire us and then get benefits by from someone else or for yourself that’s that wouldn’t be fair. So like I said that happens rarely.
And the Department of Labor they do actually pore through my bills and go through things and cut out things that they don’t think are relevant. And they you know they come to a resolution as to what my approved fee would be.
But again I said separate checks–completely separate–from any issues that you’re involved in. Again thanks for listening. I hope I was some help. And this is Brian signing off from Garfinkel Schwartz in Maitland Florida. Thank you.