Many people are reluctant to hire a lawyer because they don’t think they can pay for legal fees out of pocket. Obviously, lawyers operate businesses and are paid for the work that they do. However, in personal injury cases, attorneys often don’t require payments from their clients at the onset. Instead they offer their services on a “contingency fee” basis.
The contingency fee arrangement allows an individual who has suffered a personal injury a way to hold those responsible accountable and to get the compensation that they deserve even if they can’t afford an attorney outright. This way they can seek out justice without the expense of a hefty monthly attorney bill that most other types of clients receive.
What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is considered as any fee for services provided where the fee is only payable if there is a positive result. You will pay the attorney’s fees only after your case has a winning judgement or settlement of a cash recovery. In essence, it’s a percentage of the amount of the settlement that you would receive if you win your case in court. Whether your case results in an out of court settlement or if it goes to trial, your attorney’s payment will be “contingent” on winning the case, and you getting compensation. Although this type of pay schedule carries a major risk for the lawyer, it also gives them an incentive to work to get you the highest settlement possible as quickly as they can.
Every personal injury lawsuit comes with costs, which can include the following:
- Filing Fees and Court Fees: The courts require an initial fee to file the case. Typically, the personal injury lawyer will pay the fees in advance and will be reimbursed via the contingency fees they receive after the case is over, if it’s successful.
- Discovery Costs: Discovery is a phase of litigation where the parties exchange information about evidence that will be presented. These costs include gathering documents, which will help to prove your claim. It also involves taking depositions and obtaining expert witnesses. The expert witnesses’ fees can be a large part of the discovery costs.
- Other Costs: There are other miscellaneous costs that may include photo copying, postage, and costs for mileage.
The Pros of Contingency Fees
There are several positive reasons for a contingency fee arrangement, including the following:
- No payment to attorney; they will collect their fees from your awarded damages in the lawsuit.
- Because they only get paid if they win, the attorney has a great incentive to prevail and will work hard.
- If you lose your case, you usually don’t have to pay the attorney for the work that they completed.
The Cons of Contingency Fees
There are several negatives associated with contingency fees, including the following:
- You may end up paying the lawyer more than their hourly fee if you win a substantial recovery.
- If you can afford to pay an attorney by the hour, and you think that you have a winning, high-value case, it may make more sense in an hourly billing arrangement instead.
Discuss Contingency Fees with a Personal Injury Attorney
With your understanding of contingency fee arrangement, you should now concentrate on resolving your case. If you have been injured by someone’s negligence, the lawyers at Walton Law are here to help you. We will fight hard for you to get the recovery you deserve. Get in contact with us today to begin next steps.