A contingency fee is the amount of money paid to an attorney in the event of a successful outcome in a case or a successful settlement out of court. Contingency fees are paid out of the damages awarded to the client, as in the case of a favorable result in a personal injury case.
Law firms that specialize in cases that deal with personal injury work on a contingency basis, meaning the attorney receives no fee for an unsuccessful result. The contingency agreement generally outlines a percentage of the award as the attorney fee. If the case is unsuccessful, the client owes nothing. The practice of contingency compensation allows people with little or no money to pursue damages in court for negligent behavior with the help of a professional and experienced attorney.
Additional Legal Fees
There can be other fees associated with your personal injury case beyond the contingency fee. While the contingency fee covers the attorney’s time and allows for a “success” payment, other costs are often incurred on the road to a successful case. These may include expert witnesses, postage costs, investigator fees, filing fees, and costs to obtain medical records.
The contingency fee may be in the range of 33% – 40% of the damages awarded. If there are additional expenses, they may be paid for out of the remainder of the award, if payment is deferred until after the successful completion of the case. While a law firm may deliver the highest possibility of success for an award, it is important for potential clients to be aware of the costs of pursuing a personal injury case.
Why Hire an Attorney for Personal Injury Claims
When you’ve had a serious accident or injury (broken bones, head trauma, lacerations, amputation or paralysis) that requires medical care, results in property damage or causes you to miss work, you may not have the focus or knowledge to act in your own best interest in the way a trained attorney would be able to.
A lawyer can guide you through the process and help you get the medical attention you need. A professional attorney has the experience to assess the damages you may be entitled to, and understand how to present a case that results in the greatest award possible. You may represent yourself in a personal injury case, but hiring a lawyer may relieve you of the pressure of building a case while allowing you to recover from your injuries.