Thursday, May 2, 2013

Attorney Fees for Albuquerque Car Accident


Don't Pay the Higher 33 1/3% Contingency Attorney Fee in your Albuquerque Car Accident, Truck Accident or Motorcycle Accident

By: Mark Caruso, Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney (Albuquerque, NM)


You have probably seen all the personal injury attorneys advertising on television, billboards and the sides of buses offering to represent you in your Albuquerque  personal injury or  wrongful death claim on a percentage fee basis.  This is called a contingency fee.

A contingency fee means that you pay the personal injury attorney no hourly fee, but instead pay a "percentage fee" at the conclusion of the claim.  If the lawyer recovers no money on the claim, the attorney gets no attorney fee.

The New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys set the ethical rules for  New Mexico attorneys to follow when charging personal injury clients a contingency fee for their  car accident,  truck accident  or  motorcycle accident. The Rules require the contingent fee to be reasonable and that the contingent fee agreement be in writing and signed by the client and attorney.

Most every auto accident and personal injury  attorneys in Albuquerque, NM  charges a contingency fee of  33 1/3% for all personal injury or wrongful death cases that are settled prior to a lawsuit being filed. This seems a little steep, especially because so little work is done by the personal injury attorney before the lawsuit is filed. Most of the initial proof of liability against the at fault driver and gathering of medical records and bills for treatment of personal injuries are done by a paralegal or legal assistant supervised by the attorney.

The personal injury attorney becomes much more involved in the preparation of the settlement demand to the insurance company adjuster,  the negotiation of settlement and the conclusion of the claim with the client.

It's only if the insurance adjuster won't settle with the attorney and client that a lawsuit may be required.  The majority of our cases at Caruso Law Offices do in fact settle without a lawsuit.    If a lawsuit is filed because the case could not be settled, then the attorney has much more involvement and expenses in the claim.

Beginning in 2009  Mark Caruso  and  Caruso Law Offices  pioneered a new approach to contingent  attorneys fees in Albuquerque, NM. 


Caruso began discounting the attorney fee to 29% contingency fee in cases that settled before the filing of a lawsuit. Caruso believed that to be in compliance with the "reasonable fee" requirement of the Rules and knowing that less work was required to settle a case if no lawsuit was yet filed, that a discounted fee was warranted.

We currently discount the contingency fee to only 29% if a case is settled before a lawsuit is filed.


The result is that more money goes into our  client's pocket in every case that we settle before a lawsuit! We also believe  it also means quicker settlements for clients. As an example, using a settlement of a $50,000 case, the attorney fee would be $14,500 rather than $16,666.  That's $2,100 more into the client's pocket rather than the attorney's pocket.

The response from clients to the discounted contingency fee has been amazing. 


Caruso Law Offices  receives most of its personal injury client referrals from word of mouth, and little advertising is really needed. Today, most of our clients with  car accident claims,  truck accident claims  and  motorcycle claims  are by word of mouth and referrals.

Lawyers insisting on the 33 1/3% fee try to argue that a discounted 29% fee means a lesser qualified attorney or law firm.   Not so with Caruso Law Offices!

Mark Caruso, the senior attorney at Caruso Law Offices, has 31 years experience and is a former insurance company attorney who now helps injured victims.   He is also licensed in both New Mexico and California, and he is a member of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association of Justice and the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum.  Caruso has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell's Client Distinction Award, AVVO Lawyer Ratings Superb 9.6/10.0 rating and Better Business Bureau's A+ rating.

Because Caruso Law Offices does not do television, radio, billboard or bus advertising, its law firm advertising overhead is much lower.  It doen't need to justify the higher 33 1/3% fee to pay for this expensive advertising. More importantly, the discounted fee of 29% helps who it supposed to help--clients of Caruso Law Offices.  It puts more money in the client's pocket, and less money in the attorney's pocket.

Helping the clients should be the number one priority of every attorney, and it is the priority at Caruso Law Offices.


Caruso Law Offices isn't spending lots of money on advertising and can afford to pass the savings to his clients.  Advertising is an expensive overhead.  Freeway billboards can cost $8,000 a month, and some attorney television budgets are $20,000 monthly.  This attorney advertising does not mean that the particular attorney is a better attorney, only that he is spending more on advertising and probably charging the higher 33 1/3% fee rather than the discounted 29% fee.

Mark Caruso would like to personally meet with you to confidentially discuss your car accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident. The consultation will be FREE and without any obligation whatsoever. We will discuss the facts of the accident, medical care you have received and future medical care that you may require.  We will discuss what to expect from the claims process and the "personality" of the automobile insurance company your claim is against.  We promise to answer all of your questions and give you honest and truthful answers.

 You can call Mark Caruso at 505-883-5000 or toll free at 800-657-9292.  We have two locations in Albuquerque-our Northeast Heights office and our  Westside office. Mark Caruso can also meet you at your home, work or hospital and on weekends and after hours.

We represent personal injury clients with vehicular accidents throughout the state of New Mexico and in the pueblos and reservations of our state.


You can also visit our web site at   www.carusolaw.com  or contact Mark Caruso at mark@carusolaw.com   We look forward to hearing from you.