Contingency fees for lawyers in a personal injury case mean the lawyer only receives compensation for his/her legal services if there’s a successful outcome for the client. Lawyers that work on contingency fee basis tend to include personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys. In those cases, the client is already hurting physically and financially, this arrangement allows the client to access legal representation without worrying about the financial strain of paying for a lawyer. In addition, lawyers that work on contingency fee schedules have a vested interest in achieving a desirable outcome for the client. This reduces or eliminates any concerns that the lawyer isn’t focusing on the best interests of the client.
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Understanding a Contingency Fees for Lawyers
Contingency fees are a form of payment for legal services provided by a lawyer. In a fixed hourly rate or a flat fee, the contingency fee arrangements between lawyer and client allow the lawyer to receive a percentage of the monetary award when the attorney wins or settles the case. However, the dollar amount the lawyer receives is contingent upon a successful outcome. If the attorney is unable to win compensation for the client’s losses, he/she does not receive personal injury lawyer fees.
Types of Lawyers that Work on Contingency Fee Basis
Contingency fees are common in personal injury cases because they permit legal representation to an injury victim with no upfront costs. Injury victims who may not be able to afford legal representation can afford to hire a lawyer. In cases involving car crashes and slip and fall accidents, injuries can result in long-term or permanent injuries or disabilities. Because of this, contingency fees for lawyers may be the only way some victims can afford to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages.
Common Terms for Contingency Fees for Lawyers
A slip and fall lawyer, for example, who works on a contingency basis will not accept a case or commit to the time and effort needed unless they have good reason to believe they can win the case. Although contingency fees vary between lawyers, they generally range between 20% and 50% of the recovery amount.
The lawyer weighs factors and uses his or her judgement to determine what percentage the lawyer receives if he or she wins the case on the client’s behalf. In most cases, the attorney bases the percentage on a variety of factors, including:
- Circumstances related to the accident
- Nature and extent of personal injuries
- Medical care or rehabilitation required
- Present and future medical expenses
- Present and future lost wages
- Impact of injuries on the victim’s life
- Types of personal injury damages that the client may receive
The client does not have to accept the attorney’s contingency fee agreement. At the initial meeting, the lawyer, and the client typically talk about the terms of the contingency fee arrangement. This includes the percentage that the lawyer will receive if they win the client’s case. Moreover, the lawyer generally lets the client know if the lawyer’s office will charge the client any filing or administrative fees (separate from the contingency fee).
Benefits of Contingency Fees for Lawyers
It’s difficult to answer all legal questions at the beginning of a personal injury case. Contingency fees provide a way to file a lawsuit, investigate the case, and recover for damages through a legal process, even a lengthy one. If the lawyer resolves the case quickly through mediation or a settlement agreement, contingency fees are often lower than fees when a case proceeds to trial.
Slip and fall lawyers commonly take cases based on contingency fees, because fall accidents result in such a wide variety of injuries. While some cases for minor injuries resolve quickly, others involving permanent injuries and disabilities may take months, even years to resolve.