Contingency Fees in a Personal Injury Case
Written by Greg on August 10, 2017
If you have been injured in an accident, the last thing you need is the added burden of trying to find a way to come up with the money to hire a lawyer to protect your legal rights and interests. With this reality understood, a considerable number of personal injury lawyers utilize what is known as a contingency fee arrangement.
What is a Contingency Fee?
Through a contingency fee agreement, you do not pay attorney fees unless your injury lawyer obtains a favorable settlement or judgment for you. The attorney fee is a reasonable, agreed percentage of any settlement or judgment a lawyer wins for your case. If no money is won for the client, the client does not owe a fee to the lawyer under most contingent fee arrangements.
Advantages to a Contingency Fee in a Personal Injury Case.
First, as was mentioned, this type of arrangement allows you the ability to obtain experienced legal representation without first coming up with the money for a retainer.
Second, because an attorney agrees to a contingency fee agreement, you can rest assured that a lawyer identifies merit in your case. An attorney is not going to want to spend time on a case they don’t believe they will win!
What About Expenses?
Through the use of a contingency fee agreement, a lawyer that takes your case also addresses the matter of expenses associated with the claim. In any personal injury case, there will be costs related to pursuing a settlement with an insurance company or judgment in a lawsuit.
For example, an expert witness may be required to provide support for the contentions or the costs of filing fees or court reporters. One should always read carefully any contingency fee agreement before signing.
With a contingency fee arrangement, an attorney or law firm usually pays the expenses of the case. These costs reimbursed out of the claim, if and when money is paid in the case. Keep in mind that on expenses, your attorney is spending money they have already made in another case. Lawyers will not usually spend their money unless they believe it will help your case. Expenses are out of pocket costs an attorney incurs to work your case. Deposition fees, court costs, expert witness expenses all can add up and are usually reimbursed out of the case. Always read the attorney fee agreement and make sure you have the right lawyer before you sign on the dotted line!
Contingent Fees are Necessary for Many!
The contingency fee concept is not without some critics. These individuals try to make the argument that contingency fee agreements cause the proliferation of meritless or frivolous lawsuits.
The reality is that this contention is without merit. An attorney is not going to want to invest time, effort, and other resources on a truck accident lawsuit they don’t believe they will win! And the best part is the more money you win the more they are paid! It is a win-win arrangement.
The truth is that in the absence of a contingency fee arrangement, many hardworking people would not be able to protect their legal interests. They would not be able to seek justice in situations in which they have been injured and suffered losses because of the negligence of some other party.
Without contingency fee arrangements, the alternative is attorney fees of several hundred dollars an hour, every hour, billed in 15-minute increments and retainers in the thousands.
Hourly attorney’s fees are paid win, lose, or draw. But with contingent fee arrangements the attorney is only paid if money changes hands. Most people have no clue about how expensive litigation is and the amount of attorney work that necessary to bring a case.
If You Have a Case But Do Not Have Money for a Lawyer!
If you are injured because of the negligence of some other party, you must not let a lack of ready money for attorney fees dissuade you from seeking talented, committed legal counsel. An experienced, reputable personal injury attorney, like a member of the legal team at the Baumgartner Law Firm, can provide you the experienced, diligent representation you need on a contingency fee basis. Most attorneys charge the same or similar percentages. Therefore it is best that you research the attorney you are considering and look forst to local lawyers with a winning track record for similar types of cases.
The More Severe Your Injury the More important Your Choice of Lawyer
Small whiplash type injuries from a fender bender car accident may be able to be handled without an a attorney. But if you are hit by an 18 wheeler and badly hurt, you will want to find the best 18 wheeler accident lawyer in town to help.
Call us for a Free No-Obligation Injury Consultation
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