FAQ: What are the fees that you charge?

This is a good question. I certainly ask this question of anyone I hire and I don’t take offense when my prospective clients ask me. The answer is fairly simple but it does depend on the type of case.

For starters your initial consultation is free. This is simply because we are merely discussing your options. You want to know if you have a case and we want to know if it is a case that fits in our office. The initial consultation is an informal and confidential discussion of the facts regarding your case and usually takes place over the phone or in our office. If we feel we can assist you in your case we will discuss the fees for retaining our office to represent you. If we do not feel that we can help you based upon our discussion we will respectfully decline representation. The most common reasons that we decline representation are that there is a poor chance of recovery based on our analysis of the facts and law, or it is not the type of case that we handle. For example, we do not handle DUI cases. If someone contacts us about a DUI case we will likely refer them to an attorney with more DUI experience. We always use the best interest of the client as our guide.

We handle injury claims and work almost exclusively on a contingency fee basis. That means we do not get paid unless we make a recovery on your behalf. We also have incentive to maximize the value of your case because a higher recovery is beneficial to both the client and the firm.

Personal Injury cases are handled on a 1/3 contingency fee basis. These cases include:

  • Wrongful Death;
  • Auto accidents;
  • Construction Accidents;
  • Asbestos Exposure;
  • Premises;
  • Fall Down;
  • Dram Shop;
  • Tortious battery;
  • Sexual battery;
  • Dog Bite;
  • Prescription Errors;
  • Tortious Fraud.

Workers’ Compensation Claims are handled on a 20% contingent fee as set forth in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. There are a few rare exceptions in the Act involving Statutory Loss and a fee cap for certain types of cases which may also have an impact on the fees. If the circumstances of your case are likely to alter the usual fee arrangement then they will be fully explained at the initial consultation.

Occasionally fees may also be reduced due to other circumstances such as application of the lien statute or adjustment for special circumstances.

Costs are expenses incurred in the prosecution of a case. The most common costs are: filing fees, medical records expenses, court reporters and deposition transcripts, expert retention and exhibit preparation. At the Law Offices of Michael Gravlin we will usually pay all of these costs up front and take them back at the resolution of the case. We do not upcharge anything but merely take back exactly what we paid out. Costs vary by case and complexity but are usually not very significant in relation to the settlement. We always try to keep the costs to a minimum.