How Does a Contingent Fee Agreement Work?
Many people refrain from seeking a lawyer’s services when they need to file a lawsuit because they believe that they cannot afford the legal fees. While attorneys can be expensive, many personal injury law firms operate on a contingency-fee basis to make their services more affordable. Under contingency-fee agreements, you do not pay any out of pocket costs while you are filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
Legal fees can be expensive in many cases, and very few people can pay these costs out of pocket. To combat this and to make legal services more accessible, many firms establish contingency-fee agreements. Contingency-fee agreements are dependent on whether or not your attorney secures a settlement on your behalf. With a contingency-fee agreement, you can file your personal injury lawsuit at little risk to your bank account.
If your attorney does not secure a settlement on your behalf, you do not have to pay any legal fees. If your attorney does settle your claim successfully, he or she will take an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement as payment. You and your attorney will discuss the fee arrangement beforehand so you know how much your attorney will deduct from your settlement. Your attorney should also inform you if he or she intends to deduct any additional costs and expenses related to your case, such as filing fees.
Average Cost of a Contingency-fee agreement
The cost of your contingency fee will depend on the attorney you hire. However, the majority of contingency fees are between 33% and 40% of your total settlement offer. Most of the time, your contingency fee will be 33.33%. Some attorneys will charge different fees for different results. For example, an attorney may charge a contingency fee of 33% if your case settles out of court and 40% if your case goes to trial.
Say that you are filing a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident and you sign a contingency-fee agreement under these conditions: your attorney receives 33% of your settlement if you settle out of court and 40% if you go to trial. If you are able to reach a $30,000 settlement before trial, your attorney will receive $9,900 and you will receive $20,100. If you have to go to trial and receive a $30,000 settlement, your attorney will receive $12,000 and you will receive $18,000.
You and your attorney will discuss your contingency fee before you decide to hire him or her. This discussion will include the percentage and if your attorney will adjust the fee based on trial status. If you believe that your contingency fee is too high, you can always try to negotiate for a reduced fee or an alternative agreement. However, you will not have to pay your attorney out of pocket for your legal fees.
Additional Fees and Expenses
In addition to the contingency fee, your attorney may also deduct expenses related to your case from your final settlement. Instead of you having to cover these costs, your attorney will front necessary expenses and reimburse himself or herself from your settlement funds at the conclusion of your case.
These costs are necessary for the adequate investigation and construction of your personal injury lawsuit.
- Medical record requests
- Expert witness fees
- Depositions and trial exhibits
- Filing fees and postage costs
- Investigator fees
- Accident reconstructions
- Police report requests
Not all firms deduct these costs and your attorney will inform you if he or she intends to do so.
Benefits of a Contingency Fee Arrangement
Contingency-fee agreements can provide numerous benefits to your personal injury case. They help make attorneys more accessible and provide a low-stress way to obtain valuable services. In addition, your attorney will have a strong incentive to win your case. When seeking a personal injury attorney, choose one who operates on a contingency-fee basis.
Liljegren Law Group works on a contingency-fee basis. If you have any questions regarding you recent injury or the injury of a loved one. Give us a call for a free consultation at (619) 312-6703 or fill out an online contact form to get in touch with an attorney.