No Property Damage Fees
No Attorney’s Fees for Property Damage Claims, Even When We Win
If we represent you in a claim against your insurance for property damage, we will agree to recover Statutory Fees only. For every insurance claim we don’t charge any attorney’s fees or costs unless we win. For property claims, we also agree to seek Statutory Fees only, which means that even when we win, no attorney fees are deducted from our clients recovery. This provides our property damage clients with a chance to receive the full amount of a verdict with no deduction for attorney’s fees or costs.
Example of recovery based on contingency fee contract:
Your Recovery: $60,000 (after deduction for 40% for attorney fees)
Example of recovery based on statutory fee contract:
Your Recovery: $100,000 (fees pursued from insurer only)
In addition to obtaining a verdict, our clients also received claim payments with no deduction for attorney’s fees when the insurer was forced to issue the payments with no release, or with a release that does not include Statutory Fees. In this instance, like when there is a verdict, Struble, P.A. deducts no attorney’s fees and costs from the payments and seeks recovery of Statutory Fees from the insurer only.
When awarding Struble, P.A. Statutory Fees, court Orders have noted that after we won our client’s case, we deducted nothing from our client’s recovery for attorney fees or costs and instead accepted whatever the court separately awarded our firm as reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, to be paid by the insurer. Courts also noted that even when the court denied requests for fees or costs, we still do not seek reimbursement from our clients. Orders have identified this as a valuable service provided by Struble, P.A. to property owners in their claims for property damage.
New Law Limiting Statutory Fees
We successfully resolved hundreds of claims for our clients with no deduction for attorney’s fees, by seeking Statutory Fees from the insurer only pursuant to Fla. Stat. 627.428 (“Old Law”). Even under the Old Law, for an attorney to utilize the law for their client’s benefit, they had to obtain a verdict or force the insurer to pay the claim without a release of statutory fees. This requires trial experience and the ability to handle property claims through trial and appeal. Without this experience, an insurance company is less likely to issue payments in this manner. A court Order noted that “Struble, P.A. has earned a good reputation in the local legal community and a well-deserved excellent trial reputation. Having earned a reputation of being willing to go to trial encourages better settlement offers and results for their clients.”
If you are interviewing an attorney, you should consider asking your attorney for past examples of the law firm’s jury verdicts and Orders awarding Statutory Fees. If attorneys did not successfully recover Statutory Fees under the Old Law, it is even more unlikely they can utilize the law to maximize your net recovery under the New Law.
Now, due to statutory amendments, it is more difficult to recover Statutory Fees on property damage claims. First, in 2021, Fla. Stat. 627.70152 amended the Old Law to remove or reduce recovery of Statutory Fees depending on the amount of the recovery compared to the claim amount. Second, in 2022, another amendment to the Old Law made it difficult to obtain enhanced fees previously available for difficult claims.
Still Committed to Providing Property Owners a Recovery with No deduction for Attorney’s Fees
Under the Old Law, we successfully resolved hundreds of claims without charging our clients attorney’s fees, by separately recovering Statutory Fees. Even under the New Law, we remain committed to providing property owners with the option to have no attorney’s fees deducted from the claim payments.
Under the New Law, if $100,000 in property damage was claimed, and the jury awards only $18,000, there would be no Statutory Fees. Thus, hundreds of attorney hours incurred, and costs incurred would not be recoverable from the insurer. In this event, our client will receive the $18,000 with no deduction for attorney’s fees or costs, because we will still accept Statutory Fees only, which are $0 in this example. If the jury awards $40,000, under the New Law we would only recover a fraction of our attorney’s fees. In this event, our client will receive the $40,000 with no deduction for attorney’s fees, because we will still accept Statutory Fees only. It is our trial experience including over 35 trials of such cases that provides us with the ability to continue handling cases in this manner.
When a Contingency Fee Percentage is Applied
If we represent you in a property damage claim, our retainer will provide that we agree to accept Statutory Fees from the insurer only. Under both the Old Law, and the New Law, an alternative contingency fee percentage is provided in the retainer, in the event the insurer makes an offer that requires our clients to sign a release of the property damages and also a release of Statutory Fees. Struble, P.A applies a contingency fee percentage plus costs when the insurance company makes a global offer that includes Statutory Fees and costs. In this event, 30% for attorney’s fees plus costs is deducted from the global settlement amount. Our clients can decide whether to accept such a settlement or reject it and pursue another settlement or verdict that may not require a reduction for attorney’s fees and costs.