Attorney’s Fees and Costs in representing an Injured Minor Child

In addition to approval of the settlement itself, attorneys fees to be paid for representing the injured minor child must be approved by the court pursuant to California Family Code Section 6602, and California Probate Code Section 3601.  As a parent, you should also be aware that there is California statutory cap on what a lawyer can charge your injured child as a contingency fee for legal services.  A lawyer may not charge more than a 25% contingency fee on any recovery for an injured minor child.  Only under a rare exception shall a judge award higher than 25% to an attorney, and even then the attorney still has to justify he or she provided extraordinary legal services.   

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Child Injury/Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Office dedicated to representing families of minor children injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one, who is a minor child, has been injured or killed in a child accident in San Diego, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95.  However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident. 

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Ted Laguatan, Attorney at Law 08/31/2013 03:46 AM
I wish you well. I'm a lawyer but don't know the answer to this quesrion When a client who is a child turns 18 but her case is not yet settled. Will the 25% contingency fee limitation for children still apply if her case is settled when she is already 19? If you know the answer, I would appreciate it much. Please send me the legal authority. Thank you and kindest regards, Ted
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Mark Blane 08/31/2013 01:08 PM
Hi Ted, yes, you need to first have in your original retainer what your fees will be, and if they are above 25%, and if the child is over 18 years old by the time you settle you are okay. If you have above 25% and the child is under 18 years old, then court approval by the judge is required to approve the higher fees - it is up to the judge's discretion in light of the legal talent and extra work that was needed to be done by the lawyer. Just be prepared to have good reasons if it is above 25% and the child is under 18 years old, but the law that governs minor's comp and release hearing does makes this possible. Mark
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