There are many factors that determine the cost of a defense attorney. This, in turn, determines how much they get paid. In the case of medical malpractice defense lawyers, a lot of what they’re paid depends on who the money is coming from.
When an insurance company hires a defense attorney, they will pay less for their services but will request them more frequently. This gives the attorneys the guarantee of constant employment from the insurance company. A private defense lawyer may charge more, but they are able to offer a more individualized and personal defense.
At Leichter Law Firm PC, we specialize in legal defense and representation for physicians and medical professionals in the Austin, Texas area. We are a private firm with no ties or obligations to insurance companies. This means that our defense is working only in your best interest and not in your insurance company’s. Contact us today to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.
How Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyers Get Paid
When a medical professional has insurance and a malpractice claim gets brought against them, their insurance will supply them with a defense specialist. As is the case with any law firm, the lawyer’s job is to represent their client. While you may think that they’re job is to protect you in your lawsuit, that is not the case. Technically, their hiring client is the insurance company, not you. After all, you’re not the one signing their paycheck. Thus, they aren’t working for you.
The medical malpractice defense lawyer’s pay depends on a few different things. The complexity of the case and the experience of the attorney in that field will play the biggest role in how they’re paid. The location of the case will also play into the cost. Lawyers in bigger cities like Houston or Seattle will charge more than one in a smaller rural town.
Every attorney and case is different, so there is no set flat rate for a lawyer. The American Bar Association advises lawyers to explain their fees within a short amount of time after taking on your case. Many lawyers offer a free consultation where you can discuss your case beforehand and ask how much they might charge for your services.
Boutique law firms are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They are private firms that dedicate all their services to one specific area of law. For example, Leichter Law Firm is a boutique law firm because they specifically devote their services to the representation of physicians and medical professionals. With only one area of expertise, they’re able to give their clients more dedication and attention to detail.
Assuming Risk In Medical Malpractice Defense Cases
Some lawyers work on contingency fees. This means that they only get paid if they’re able to produce a favorable outcome for the case. This is often done in personal injury cases where the client doesn’t have the means to pay for their claim. Instead of an upfront fee, the client promises the lawyer a portion of the money they may receive in a settlement. There are several pros and cons to contingency fees.
The lawyer accepting the contingency fee has the most to lose should the case not close in their favor. Because they’re assuming most of the risk, the percentage they will take from your potential settlement is often very high. Sometimes they may even ask for as much as half of the money you win.
In defense litigation, contingency fees are nonexistent. This is because the end game doesn’t involve a settlement or monetary award. Rather, the end game is proving your clients innocence so they don’t have to compensate for the other side. For defense lawyers, you’ll find set fees, upfront payments, and hourly billing.
Contingency fees definitely work as a form of motivation for cases with prospective settlements because of the high risk. With defense specialists provided by insurance companies, there is no financial risk. Their payment is certain regardless. And while they may charge less per hour, they’re promised constant work from the insurance company that owns them.
With private boutique firms, expect them to charge more. But also expect that they will be working in your best interest. If you’re more concerned with the outcome of the case than the difference in fees, you should go with a private law firm.
Contact Leichter Law Firm
If you’re in the center of a medical malpractice case, you need Leichter Law Firm on your side. Our boutique litigation practice devotes itself to the legal representation of physicians and other licensed professionals in the Austin area. Private firms offer a more personalized defense that focuses on the actual defendant rather than the company in charge of them. Don’t let insurance-provided attorneys put you on the back burner. We focus on you and your defense alone.