How much does it cost to hire a Personal Injury Attorney (Clearwater Florida)

How much does it cost to hire a Personal Injury Attorney in Florida


An attorney or Law firm charge fees for the Legal services either on a per hour basis or Contingent fee basis, though some also charge a ‘fixed’ fees. Most of the attorneys or Law firms who handle personal injury, medical malpractice or workers compensation cases work on a Contingent fee basis.

 What is Contingent fee?

It is an arrangement between a client and the attorney (or law firm) who will be legally representing the client, in which the client agrees to pay a pre-decided fixed share (percentage) of damages awarded to the client if the result of the litigation is in favor of the client.

The Contingency fee agreement has to be signed by the attorney (or law firm) and the client they are going to represent, prior to taking up the case. The percentage of the recovery to be kept by the attorney (or law firm), the costs that will be deducted from the recovery and in what ways will they be deducted, all of this needs to be stated in the agreement.

Normally, no fee or expenses incurred in the suit is paid in advanced by the client, if the attorney (or law firm) works on contingent fee basis. (Some attorneys or law firms might charge for the costs associated with the case like medical reports, filing fee etc., even if working on contingent fee basis)

There are certain Rules of Conduct prescribed by the Florida Bar, which includes the rules for charging fees and costs for Legal services. The rules contain certain limitations that the Florid Bar imposes on charging Contingent fee in cases of Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice (keep in mind medical malpractice caps) and other tort cases.


  • 33.33% of any recovery till $1 million – If the case is settled prior to filing of an answer or demand for appointment of arbitrators or if a lawsuit has already been filed, as late as the time till defense files an answer or makes a demand for appointment of arbitrators.
  • 40% of any recover till $1 million – If the case is settled after the lawsuit has been filed and the defense has filed an answer or makes a demand of appointment of arbitrators or, if neither has an answer been filed nor demand for appointment of arbitrators is made, the expiration of the time period provided for such action, through the entry of judgment. Keep in mind, that your attorney will ask for your approval when filing suit.
  • 30% of any recovery between $1-2million (In the first two scenarios) – If the case is settled, or a favorable verdict is reached in trial.
  • 20% of any recovery above $2 million (In the first two scenarios) – If the case is settled, or a favorable verdict is reached in trial.
  • 33.33% any recovery till $1 million, 20% of recovery between $1-2 million and 15% of  recovery above $2 million – If liability is admitted at the time of filing answers and the case goes on trial only for deciding on the damages.
  • 5% additional on any recovery– If the case is appealed / requirement of action for recovery of the Judgment / Post-Judgment Relief.

Charging fee above the standard is considered to be ‘excessive’. However, if a client wishes to pay a greater fee, they can approach the court before filing the case or during filing their case for removal of the fee limitation.

Additional Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases

There are additional limitations placed on how much a Lawyer can charge for medical malpractice cases by Article I, section 26 of the Florida Constitution.

  • Victims of Medical Malpractice are entitled to no less than 70% of first $250,000 in damages ( excluding the costs )
  • Victims of Medical Malpractice are entitled to 90%  of all damages above $ 2,50,000 (excluding the costs)

If an attorney is representing a client of Medical Malpractice, he is bound by the rules of conduct to first furnish a copy of the constitution’s fee limitations, before taking up the case. In addition to this an attorney is required to inform the client that these limitations will be in effect, till the client waives the constitutional limitation of Medical Malpractice fee and the attorney should also advise the client that they can consult with other attorney(s) before waiving the right or can also ask for a hearing before a judge for explaining the waiver.

If the client opts for waiving the constitutional right, the client is entitled to receive a detailed waiver form from the attorney.

Fee Division

If a personal injury or property damage (resulting from wrongful conduct) case is being handled by two attorneys, then the attorney with primary responsibility is entitled to no less than 75% of the total fee while the attorney with secondary responsibility is entitled to no more than 25% of the total fee.  In a case where both the attorneys take equal responsibility of the case, the court will decide on how the fee will be split.

When a case of a client ends, an attorney is required to furnish itemized bill of the costs and expenses incurred in the particular case and if the case has been won then the fee too. The client needs to sign the bill statement along with all the attorneys who represented the client in the case.

Points to remember –

  • It is not always possible for a lawyer to give you a complete estimate while taking up your case.
  • The associated costs involved in a case are uncontrollable as they depend on a variety of factors.  Extra costs may be necessary to get your case settled or to trial.
  • Some attorneys charge a ‘retainer’ or ‘advance’  for costs involved even though they might be working on Contingent fee basis, these ‘retainer’ or ‘advance’ can be refundable or non-refundable.

When hiring an attorney you should first meet them and get to know how they work.  It is important to establish a relationship with them, because they will be taking case of an aspect of your life for a few months to years.  If you’d like to know more about attorneys fees, or if you have been involved in an car accident please call mark today 727-386-9677 or go to


Supreme Court Grants Immunity To Generic Pharmaceuticals, Consumers Suffer Personal Injury

Personal Injury and Big Pharma

Many people think that the modern civil legal system is like a legal lottery. Clients with minor or no injuries at all sue and collect billions for trifling inconveniences. This perception is often enhanced by media, who reports cases appearing to be frivolous often without giving context or complete facts. While at the same time the media also fails to report cases where patients are severely injured but receive nothing at all. Recently a case such a case decided by U.S. Supreme Court in June 24, 2013 demonstrates this point. The case is Mutual Pharmaceutical Company Inc. v. Bartlett.

The facts of the case—which are not in dispute— are: The plaintiff Karen Bartlett “was given sulindac, an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), which is a generic form of Clinoril for shoulder pain. The defendant Mutual Pharmaceutical produces this drug. After taking the drug Ms. Bartlett soon developed an acute case of toxic epidermal necrolysis. Epidermal Necrolysis is a life threatening condition characterized by widespread eruptions under the skin leading to tissue death and permanent disfigurement. In Ms. Barlett’s case the results were horrific. More than half of her body’s skin was deteriorated; i.e. burned off or turned into an open wound. She spent months in a medically induced coma, had 12 eye surgeries, and was tube-fed for a year. After treatment the plaintiff is left severely disfigured, with a number of physical disabilities, and is nearly blind.

Bartlett sued the drug manufacturer Mutual and was awarded approximately 20 million dollars by a jury. However, she would never see one cent of it. The pharmaceutical company—with nearly unlimited resources and lawyers—appealed this case all the way to U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court decided, with Justice Samuel Alito writing for the majority, that it would be too inconvenient for a pharmaceutical company producing generic drugs to remove their dangerous product off the market or petition federal law makers to allow them to alter the drug warnings or composition of the drug to make it safer. Thus the Supreme Court decided it would be better to shield a drug companies from liability than allow a horrendously injured person to recover any money for her life being ruined.

Reading through the opinion of the majority and shifting through the oral arguments it seems that a number of Justices prefer the drug liability system to go the way of the vaccine liability law. In other words they want congress to carve out yet another special court which would limit the ability for those injured to get damages and shield drug companies from paying monetary awards to the injured. Most people are unaware a special vaccine court exists which is funded by taxes paid by consumers of vaccines. These taxes are placed in a special fund and are paid out as the court sees fit. In this type of court there is no jury of peers, it is difficult to get through, and the awards are small. In this sense the whole reason for damages to penalize business for making unsafe products is circumvented and instead the people are taxed to protect drug company earnings. But this is what some of the Supreme Court Justices and no doubt industry prefers—a court where juries do not decide awards and drug companies are free to produce products (most of them deadly) without fear of being sued. One wonders how fair is it to require those who are injured to be taxed to care for themselves so those who injure them can continue to do business.  (Part 2 to be continued)


If you have any questions in regards to medical malpractice, personal injury, or pharmaceutical injuries please call our office so we are able to answer any questions you may have.

Mark Perenich Personal Injury Attorney (727) 386-9675

The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage in an Auto Accident

Mark Perenich Clearwater Personal Injury Lawyer

Do you know the importance of uninsured motorist coverage?

Many people are unaware if they even have uninsured motorist coverage, and in my opinion, it’s one of the most important types of insurance to have. Hopefully after reading this you will have a general understanding of uninsured motorist coverage and why you need it.
Q. What is uninsured motorist coverage?
A. Uninsured motorist coverage provides for a driver to receive damages for any injury he or she receives from an uninsured, negligent driver. This type of coverage is typically added to a driver’s current policy. In the event of an car accident, the insurance company pays the difference between what the uninsured driver can pay and what the injured driver would be entitled to as if the uninsured motorist had insurance.
Q. What losses does UMC cover in the event of an auto accident?
A. Uninsured motorist coverage is meant to compensate you for both financial and non-financial losses that occur in result of an accident. This includes any medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, vehicle repair, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Q. Who does it cover?
A. Generally it will cover yourself, any household members, minors, and family members that may not reside in the house (i.e. children in college).
Q. Why is it so important to have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy?
A. Because there are many drivers that are driving without insurance, in Florida 24% of drivers are without coverage. And if the other driver does have coverage it may be limited to only $10,000. If you get into an auto accident requiring an ambulance ride ($3,000-$8,000) or worse, a helicopter ride to the near by hospital ($10,000-$20,000), there may not be enough in the other driver’s policy to cover just your transportation let alone your medical expenses. In my career I have seen many people that cannot recover any damages, in order to cover large medical bills and lost wages, because they did not have uninsured motorist protection. It can make a tragic accident a life long burden.
Q. How do I protect myself from an uninsured driver?
A. Call your insurance company and ask them if you have uninsured motorist coverage. If you do not, ask to add it to your policy it is usually a very low increase on your premium, and well worth it.

If you have any have any questions concerning insurance, law, or an auto accident, please contact me at (727) 386-9677.

Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Mark Perenich

Fluoride in Pinellas county’s drinking water

Personal Injury lawyer Mark Perenich

“Fluoride’s back!” Pt II

On the behalf of Mark Perenich :

Note that Mr. Perenich is not a medical Doctor.

Whether one thinks fluoride is good or bad one thing is for certain it is not like a normal food supplement. Even if a patient thought they were fluoride deficient and worried about dental carries, they could not go to a store and buy a bottle of fluoride tablets. They must get a prescription from a doctor and have it filled at pharmacy. This begs the question: If fluoride is so toxic that it must be handled as drug given on a prescription basis under the direction of a physician, why then should it be dumped indiscriminately in the water supply. Especially, in light of the fact adding fluoride to the water supply is practically medicating citizens without their consent? In medicine the same drug dose for a child or the elderly is different from that of a healthy adult. However, with placing fluoride in the water supply every one gets roughly the same dose of a prescription drug.   Additionally, nearly all dental treatments where fluoride is used none of it is to be ingested, but rather applied topically. It should be noted that most European nations do not put fluoride in their water supply and do not have high rates of dental carries. One would think if fluoride was so important to preventing dental carries countries without it in the water supply should have astronomical rates of tooth decay, but fact is they don’t.   So in final analysis Fluoride is not a harmless mineral applied to the water supply, it is a powerful ingredient used pesticides/herbicides. Outside of your drinking water it must be obtained by prescription and when it is applied to prevent carries in dental practice it is never given for ingestion. Citizens ought to know these things about a drug placed in their water supply so they can make informed decisions. However, whether you are for fluoride or against it the truth is if you live in Pinellas County fluoride is back.

Mark Perenich Personal injury lawyer in clearwater Contact Mark at 727-386-9677

[i] Geoffrey Smith, “Fluoridation—are the dangers resolved?” New Scientist. 1983 May 5. 286 – 7.
[ii]Richard D Shin, Mark A Silverberg. Fluoride Toxicty. Medscape Reference. (accessed July 22, 2013 at January 14, 2013.
[iii] Shivaprakrah PK, Ohri K, Noorani H. Relation between dental fluorosis and intelligence quotient in school children of Bagalkot district. Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry. 2011; 29: 117 – 120.
[iv] Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2012; 10: 1362 – 1368.
[v] Michael R. Dobbs. Clinical Neurotoxicology: Syndromes, Substances, Environments (Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, 2009) 197 – 8.
[vi] Ibid.

Fluoride in Pinellas drinking water

Personal Injury lawyer

“Fluoride’s back!” Pt 1

On the behalf of Mark Perenich :Water splash

Note that Mr. Perenich is not a medical Doctor.

For those who are unaware fluoride was taken out of the Pinellas County drinking water supply in December 2011 due to concerns of cost and toxic effects of fluoride ingestion. About a year later after a vigorous campaign by dentist and politicians to put fluoride back into the water supply new county commissioners were elected who did as promised putting fluoride back in the drinking water.

Fluoride is a mineral which can be found in some natural drinking water supplies. Fluoride is thought to react in the human body to promote calcium deposition in the formation of bones and teeth, theoretically making bones and teeth more dense. This is why most dentists support the idea of giving fluoride to patients to prevent dental carries.

However, scientists and toxicologists also know fluoride like other naturally occurring minerals such as lead and arsenic is toxic too. Fluoride’s toxicity is well known to the pesticide and herbicide industries, who use it as a key ingredient in their products.[i] Fluoride is also used in certain anti-anxiety, antidepressant, chemotherapy, antibiotic, and psychotropic drugs. Too much fluoride in patients can cause skeletal fluorosis. This condition is caused by fluoride’s interference with the normal calcium deposition process in bone formation, which leads to dense but brittle and weak bones. This condition can be debilitating and painful.

Pinellas county
Pinellas county fluoride in the water

Even though many people stand for the use of fluoride in the water system, both toothpaste manufacturers and dentists administering fluoride rinse warn patients not to swallow such products. Fluoride ingestion is so serious that it can cause death in an amount as small as two grams or approximately one teaspoon.[ii] Reports in the medical literature document a relationship between fluoride in the drinking water and low IQ; the more fluoride the lower IQ (intelligence quotient) of children.[iii] A more recent study published by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health also noticed this trend between fluoride levels and decreases in IQ.[iv] Michael R. Dobbs author of a neurotoxicology textbook states “fluoride at levels found from drinking fluorinated water could be potentially harmful to the developing nervous system.”[v] Disturbingly, Dobbs also suggests free radicals associated with fluoride could be a potential risk factor in “developing Alzheimer’s disease.”[vi]

This will be continued in part 2: see the link below.

[i] Geoffrey Smith, “Fluoridation—are the dangers resolved?” New Scientist. 1983 May 5. 286 – 7.

[ii]Richard D Shin, Mark A Silverberg. Fluoride Toxicty. Medscape Reference. (accessed July 22, 2013 at January 14, 2013.

[iii] Shivaprakrah PK, Ohri K, Noorani H. Relation between dental fluorosis and intelligence quotient in school children of Bagalkot district. Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventative Dentistry. 2011; 29: 117 – 120.

[iv] Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2012; 10: 1362 – 1368.

[v] Michael R. Dobbs. Clinical Neurotoxicology: Syndromes, Substances, Environments (Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, 2009) 197 – 8.

[vi] Ibid.


Clearwater injury lawyer

Personal Injury attorney in Clearwater

Intro to being a personal injury lawyer


Hit and run accident

I wanted to start a blog to inform people about important things and about things going on in personal injury law. I will be updating my website from time to time, and I will blog on a wide variety of topics. I invite you to bookmark (command+D, or Control+D) and enjoy the ride.

Types of law we practice

My law firm has been around for almost 60 years and we have been exclusively practicing personal injury law for that period of time. We handle all different types of cases here concerning personal injury law, even from the most complex medical malpractice cases down to a very simple car accident we can help you.  While there are many attorneys in the Tampa bay area that practice personal injury, they primarily do easy car accident cases, that is not the case at my firm.  We take on some of the most complex cases this state has to offer.  We can do this because, we have been around long enough, and we have skilled enough to go toe to toe with the best. If you feel that you would like quality legal representation, then please contact us today.

Slip and fall lawyer Clearwater

We also handle slip and fall, trip and fall or premise liability cases where a person has fell on someone else’s property when they are not at fault. Premise liability cases arise in various different ways, but a simple fall can be very costly to a person due to all the medical bills and rehabilitation they must undergo to return to their previous state of health. A simple depression and a roadway, a improperly placed speedbump, or a curve that is not properly painted, can cause serious injuries to a person. We have seen dramatic brain injuries, herniated discs, protruding disc, concussions, broken hips, and many other types of injuries associated with us liability, or slip and falls

Often times people are afraid of suing a big corporation if they were to slip and fall inside of a shopping market, or mall. We have battle some of the biggest grocery stores, supermarkets, or retail stores in the United States and we have one those battles for our clients we can help you if you have been involved in a premise liability, or slip and fall. Please call 727-386-9677 like to know if you have a case today.



 Mark Perenich is a personal injury attorney in Clearwater