When you see a large photograph of a personal injury traffic accident attorney on a flashy, huge billboard, do you ever wonder how they get paid?
What does “NO WIN, NO FEE” mean on many of their slogans?
WORKING ON A CONTINGENCY FEE BASIS
Absolutely YES, when an attorney works on a contingency fee, the attorney only gets paid if they get money for their client from another person or company…
In personal injury cases, agreeing to pay only if you win or lose is across the board. When you hire a personal injury law firm that works on a contingency fee basis, the lawyer agrees to be paid a certain percentage of the total recovery.
If no recovery is made, the lawyer gets nothing. The lawyer will only get paid if they get money from a third party.
Contingency fees are a portion of what your lawyer gets for you. Before you hire the lawyer, you and the lawyer agree on the percentage.
Most of the time, the percentage is between 30 and 40% of your settlement or verdict. You don’t have to pay them if they don’t get compensation from the court.
When you hire a personal injury attorney and sign a retainer, the fees should be fully explained to you so that there are no surprises at the end of your case.
Most lawyers have two levels of contingency fees while dealing with personal injury cases:
Filing a Lawsuit
Let’s say you and your lawyer reach a deal before you file a lawsuit. In that case, your lawyer can charge you up to 33.33 percent, or one-third, of any money you get back up to $1 million..
Get a $30,000 settlement, for example, from the person who was at fault or his insurance company. You’ll get $20,000, while your lawyer will get $10,000.
Keep in mind that these estimates are for a settlement in which there are no further medical expenses to negotiate, as this money would also be deducted from the payment.
It also doesn’t include any fees that the lawyer might take out of the settlement amount.
After Filing a Lawsuit
If your case goes to trial, your lawyer’s contingency fee will definitely go up. In this case, your lawyer can get up to 40% of any judgment up to $1 million as a contingency fee. So, if you won a $30,000 judgment, your personal injury lawyer will get $12,000.
Again, this example doesn’t take into account the victim’s medical bills or lawyer fees, which would still have to be taken out of the settlement amount.
WHY DO PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS USE CONTINGENCY FEES?
There are good things about contingency fees. With a contingency fee, your injury lawyer has both a financial and professional interest in the outcome of your case.
When your lawyer works on a contingency basis, they have a strong incentive to work hard to get you the high payment you deserve. While your lawyer works hard to fight for your case in court, you can rest and get better.
This is very helpful when you’re going through a hard time. When you’re hurt, you’re already in a place where you’re easy to break.
You are struggling financially, physically, and emotionally, and you may not have the resources to fight a legal battle. Instead of handing over cash, you can agree to a fee that will be paid when the case is over.
This also means that your lawyer can start working immediately without waiting until you pay them.
The faster you can reach a settlement or judgment, the quicker you and the other person will get paid. This will make it easier for you to move on with your lives. In a hard time, that is a great relief.
It’s time to answer all you’re frequently asked questions regarding do personal injury lawyers work on contingency fees
Do All Personal Injury Lawyers Work on a Contingency Fee Basis?
Despite the widespread usage of contingency fees, not all attorneys use them. Some demand you pay all or a portion of the costs in advance.
Some organizations charge by the hour. Before hiring a lawyer, you should confirm that they would accept a contingency fee that includes fronting expenditures until a settlement or judgment and that you will owe nothing for fees or case expenses if there is no recovery.
Why Use a Contingency Fee Lawyer for Personal Injury?
Personal injury victims who might not be able to afford legal help otherwise can use contingency fee agreements to get the justice they need and the money they deserve.
Another benefit of hiring an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis is that the client’s and attorney’s goals are clear and aligned.
Since the attorney fees depend on how the plaintiff’s claim turns out, the plaintiff’s lawyer has a different reason to work quickly and well to settle the case.
Are there any cons to using a contingency fee?
It’s possible that a lawyer’s hourly charge would be lower than a contingency fee if the case were resolved quickly.
Another concern is that lawyers might not take on every case that comes their way. If a lawyer thinks the case will be hard to win or take a lot of work, they may decide not to take it.