legal graphic.png


What is a contingency fee?

If you have suffered injuries in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be dealing with never-ending medical bills and an uncertain financial future if you cannot go back to work. You may also feel angry because your life is in disarray, depressed over what happened, and unsure how to proceed. The idea of getting the help of a personal injury attorney may have crossed your mind, but you may be doubting whether you can even afford it. After doing some research, you may have discovered that many personal injury lawyers take on cases using a contingency fee. Yet, you have doubts as to what a contingency fee is, how it works, and whether it will be worth it for you to go this route in the end. Let’s find out more about contingency fees.

Why should you consider working with a lawyer that will take a contingency fee?

The most convincing reason has to be because when you are facing so much uncertainty and maybe some financial stress, the fact that you will not have any out-of-pocket legal costs can be very helpful. By talking to your personal injury attorney, you can develop an agreement that will work for both parties.

How do contingency fees work?

In a personal injury case, your attorney knows that you will be receiving some kind of monetary recovery. This is a likely outcome when you either settle or win your case. Your lawyer is counting on this happening and will take a percentage of the money coming to you as payment for services rendered.

How much is the contingency fee?

You and your attorney will agree on a percentage that they will receive upon your recovery. Generally, this is about 1/3 or 33%. However, other factors may play a role in the final amount. Among them:

● How complex your case is and how much risk is involved in it.

● Who ends up paying for all litigation costs and when.

How does complexity affect the contingency percentage?

A pretty straightforward case is easier to resolve, and your lawyer can almost predict how it is going to develop. If so, you may be able to lower the contingency fee to 25% or even to 20%.

On the other hand, if your case is more complicated, it will require more time from your lawyer and entail greater risk, meaning that there might be a risk of no compensation in the end. If that is the case, your lawyer may up the contingency fee to 35% or 40%.

Are there times when a lawyer may work “pro bono”?

A lawyer may elect to work “pro bono” or for free in certain cases. However, even then, there are costs associated with bringing a personal injury claim. And you may also be responsible for these costs when paying a contingency fee. Here are some examples:

● Filing and court fees

● Costs of bringing in expert witnesses

● Costs associated with gathering evidence

● Discovery costs

● Incidentals such as copying documents and postage costs

These costs will usually be your responsibility even if you win your case. You may want to learn more about how lawyers charge their fees, so click to find out more.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for visiting the Daily Journal.

Please purchase an Enhanced Subscription to continue reading. To continue, please log in, or sign up for a new account.

We offer one free story view per month. If you register for an account, you will get two additional story views. After those three total views, we ask that you support us with a subscription.

A subscription to our digital content is so much more than just access to our valuable content. It means you’re helping to support a local community institution that has, from its very start, supported the betterment of our society. Thank you very much!