In personal injury cases, we as your lawyers will only take payment for our services if we are able to obtain a settlement or jury award for you. This means that you as our client will not have to pay anything up front for your case or have to cover any costs as your case goes along. If we are unable to obtain a favorable outcome in your case, you will not owe us anything. In other words, if the case does not settle, or the case goes to trial and the jury finds that the other party was not at fault (not “negligent”) and therefore does not have to pay anything for your injuries, you do not owe us a dime for our legal services and representation.
What is a Contingency Fee Arrangement?
As a client of our firm you will enter into an agreement with our firm whereby we will provide you with legal representation in exchange for a predetermined percentage of the total award obtained in your case. These percentages will be outlined in the contract you sign with our firm. The firm will advance all case costs to handle your case from beginning to end. If we don’t win your case or obtain a settlement in your favor, you will owe nothing on your case. The contingency fee levels the playing field – allowing each and every individual, regardless of financial status, to obtain the very best legal representation available. It puts a fighter in your corner to take on the ruthless insurance company lawyers.
How Contingency Fee Percentages are Determined
Attorney fees are a predetermined prior to any contracts being signed. The percentage paid to the attorney is determined by the merits of the case and will vary based on the stage at which the lawsuit resolves. Generally, if a settlement is reached before a formal complaint is filed with the court, the attorney will be entitled to a first tier percentage. If a formal complaint is filed that percentage will increase. If the case still does not reach resolution, and a trial date is set for the case, the attorney’s fees may go up another level.
At first glance, attorneys fees may seem high, however, studies show that injured victims receive more money in their pockets when they are represented by a lawyer than if they try to handle the matter on their own. While you might be able to negotiate a minor fender bender on your own, for more serious injuries and death cases, you need to be represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer in order to get you the highest amount for your injuries or loss.