09 Sep Understanding a Contingent Fee Contract- Some Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost to me, the client, if I hire you?
Thomas & Wan works on a contingent fee basis. Our firm only collects on your case if we win your case. Our firm collects 33⅓% if settlement is made before suit is filed and 40% if collection or settlement is made after suit is filed. The fee percentage calculation will be made based on the gross recovery before deduction of any expenses. In the event there is no recovery, there is no fee and we suffer the loss of the time and expenses of paying the experts and other costs. We investigate many, many possible cases and take very few. We do this because we want to ensure the cases we take have a good chance of being successful.
After I sign the contract, what happens next?
Thomas & Wan immediately gets to work on ordering any medical records that may be necessary to investigate your case. While we can tell you whether we think you or your loved one may have a case, we cannot know for certain whether we can file a case for you until we review all the medical records with our experts.
Why does it take so long to file a lawsuit?
There are many components to filing a lawsuit. The reality is that a real lawsuit is not a TV show or a movie. Have a realistic and patient view of the process. If you expect to be compensated for your loss in days or even months after contacting a lawyer, you need to know that most likely isn’t going to happen. But don’t let this discourage you- a serious injury or wrongful death case deserves careful research, deliberate planning, and experienced lawyers.
Why was my case declined?
1. Sometimes, terrible things happen at hospitals that could not have been prevented or foreseeable. Sometimes, bad things happen without malpractice. The hospital and/or doctor’s conduct is viewed to determine whether they acted below the accepted standards of care. As long as a nurse or doctor acts within the accepted standards of care, it is not negligence even if there is a bad outcome. The standards of care are determined by what a reasonable nurse or doctor would have done under the same situation. Our experts help us review the records to determine whether the standards of care are met or not met.
2. Medical malpractice litigation is difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Multiple experts are usually required to support your claim. These can be very costly, and because of tort reform, pain and suffering damages are capped at $250,000.00. Past medical bills sometimes must be paid back. Thus, there are instances in which paying back past medical bills plus the attorney’s fees plus costs of bringing a lawsuit would be more than $250,000.00, leaving you with no monetary compensation. Sometimes, a better option instead of a lawsuit would be to file a free complaint with the Texas Board of Nursing or the Texas Medical Board.
3. If you have a claim that was evaluated and turned down by a lawyer, YOU SHOULD SEEK ANOTHER OPINION. Lawyers, like doctors, often have differing opinions about things. At Thomas & Wan, our policy is the client incurs no cost at this time in the investigation process. In other words, if we spend $5,000 hiring an expert to review your records, and the expert determines that we should not take your case, you don’t owe us anything—we pay the expert and we take the loss.
Please contact us at 713-529-1177 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.