Understanding How Legal Contingency Fees Work
April 2, 2018 | Personal Injury
“A contingency fee agreement is a payment arrangement that allows a plaintiff who has been injured and is seeking legal remedy to obtain legal representation even if they do not have money to pay a lawyer at the beginning of the case. A client does not have to pay a contingency fee up front, agreeing instead to pay an attorney a percentage of the client’s award should they win the case. The contingency fee agreement will dictate the circumstances of payment, and how much an attorney is owed. The rules governing lawyers in your state will frequently determine when contingency fees are appropriate” (FreeAdvice- Legal).
Contingency Fee Basics
The basics of how the contingency fee works in a real-world setting is this: the plaintiff does not have to pay thousands in court fees to pursue the lawsuit against a big corporation that can easily pay legal fees. Their attorney pays the fees and represents them in the court hearing. Then if the case is ruled in favor of the plaintiff they will then pay their attorney the contingency fees out of whatever money they are awarded by the court. If the case is not declared in favor of the plaintiff then they will owe nothing to the attorney.
Contingency fee agreements are designed to help ensure those who cannot afford costly court fees and expenses are still able to get represented in court and are still free to fight for compensation and damages they feel they are entitled to after an accident or injury. A single working mother would not be able to afford all the fees and costs of a lawsuit against the school where her child was injured due to the negligence to staff or their teacher. The school has the funds to hire a good attorney and can fight in the court systems for long period of time if necessary, and a single mom could never do this. But with an attorney who offers contingency fee services she can fight back and fight for compensation for her child. This is the biggest benefit of working under this sort of arrangement when it comes to legal fees.
Operating Under a Contingency Fee Agreement
After a contingency fee agreement is reached, the attorney will pay the expenses of the lawsuit. Expenses can include paying filing fees, arranging for payment of depositions, and paying for copies of medical records or reports. If your attorney is successful in obtaining a judgment or settlement on your behalf, the written contingency contract will control how your funds are dispersed. Some contingency fee agreements will operate under a graduated percentage contract. For example, the length of time involved in the case and how far the case goes through the court system can lead to higher fees and a higher percentage being due because there was more work involved in the case. Some contingency fee contracts provide for expenses plus a percentage. For example: If the case was awarded for the amount of $200,000 and the attorney ended up spending $10,000 in fees and expenses associated with your case, they will be paid that amount plus whatever percentage was agreed to at the time the contract was signed. The remaining $190,000 is what will be used to determine the additional amount to be paid to the attorney. In many cases this is the most cost-effective way for the average person to get presentation in a lawsuit, especially when they are going up against a big business or corporation that would likely have their own legal team or have more than enough money to fight a long drawn out court battle.
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If you have been injured and feel you may have grounds for a lawsuit, we urge you to call us as soon as possible so we can begin the process of reviewing your case and the details of the information and gather up the information needed to carry your case to court. Call today to schedule your free consultation appointment with our team and to take the first step towards getting the reimbursement you deserve. We are here for you and are ready you fight for you and your rights! Call today to get started.
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