Can Lawyers Charge a Contingency Fee for Recovery of PIP?

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There is confusion among Maryland auto accident lawyers as to whether it is permissible for accident lawyers in Maryland to charge a contingent fee for collecting a claim against his client's own auto insurance carrier under the Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") coverage when the accident lawyer has been engaged to a contingent fee basis to handle the client's accident claim.  

In spite of the confusion, the answer is clear.  Contingent fees are permissible only when they are reasonable under all the circumstances, including such relevant factors as the "risk and uncertainty,"  according to the Maryland State Bar Association Committee on Ethics.

I agree with the outcome but disagree with the logic.  PIP claims are not always slam dunk.  They sometimes take real work.   There is risk and uncertainty as to whether PIP is recoverable.  

But our approach  is not charging a fee for PIP of any kind. The Committee on Ethics says accident attorneys handling personal injury matters may charge for PIP on an hourly basis.  But smart auto accident lawyers in Maryland do not nickel and dime their clients by charging them to handle their PIP claim.   

Miller & Zois does not charge clients any fee or expense for process their PIP claim.  We do it free of charge as a service to our clients.

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