How Can I Help My Clients and Increase My Income by Referring Cases to The Law Offices of John Day, P.C.?
Personal injury and wrongful death law has become an increasingly specialized practice. Nearly all of the lawyers for defendants and their liability insurance companies specialize in the work and have at their disposal virtually unlimited resources. The combination of experienced lawyers and superior financial resources give defendants a tremendous advantage over many plaintiffs, who may be represented by lawyers who lack the experience, training, and/or financial resources to adequately and aggressively represent a plaintiff in a personal injury or wrongful death case.
Thus, if you are not a tort lawyer, referring personal injury and wrongful death cases to an experienced, highly-regarded personal injury firm like ours will likely result in a better outcome for your client – a client who views you as a trusted advisor and, oftentimes, a friend or family member.
Even if you are a tort lawyer, you may decide to seek the help of another lawyer with your complex or atypical personal injury and wrongful death cases. Associating an experienced, highly-regarded firm such as ours with these cases will likely increase the chance of success and the amount of the recovery for your client while substantially reducing your investment of time and money in the case.
Increasing Your Income
As for increasing your income, when we accept a referral of a contingent fee case from a lawyer, we agree to pay that lawyer a fee upon successful completion of the representation. The referral fee is a percentage of the contingent fee we charge and collect from the client at the successful conclusion of the representation.
We do not increase the contingent fee percentage we charge your client to take into account the referral fee. Rather, the referral fee is simply paid from our typical fee at the successful conclusion of the case. Of course, if there is no recovery, no referral fee is paid.
The Ethics of a Referral Fee
We are often asked if referral fees in contingent fee cases is ethical. The answer is yes. Rule 1.5(e) of the Tennessee Rules of Professional Conduct permits contingent fees to be divided between different law firms with the written consent of the client. Our written fee agreement discloses that we will be sharing the attorneys' fee with you. The fee agreement is signed by the client and a lawyer from each firm. By taking these simple steps, both your firm and ours have fully complied with the ethics rules concerning fee division.
The Amount of the Referral Fee
The referral fee is a percentage of the total fee charged to the client, and the percentage of the fee allocated to a referring attorney varies based on the type, complexity, and potential value of the case. For example, a medical malpractice case almost always requires a substantially greater investment of time and money than an automobile or trucking case with the exact same losses and damages. Medical malpractice cases are also much harder to win; statistically, Tennessee jurors find for the patient in less than twenty percent of the health care liability cases tried to a jury. Thus, the referral fee percentage we can offer in a medical malpractice case is typically less than the referral fee we can offer in a car or truck wreck case.
Because the percentage may vary based on case specific factors, we will be happy to discuss the amount of the referral fee with you after you share the nature of the case with us and before we interview your client.