What is a Contingency Fee Basis?

If you are considering hiring an attorney, you may have seen brief information about “contingency fees” or the attorney working on a “contingency fee basis”. Most people are unsure of exactly what a contingency fee basis is, how it works, or why it really benefits them. Fortunately, the team at Daic Law is here to help. Read on to learn more.

What Does Contingent Mean?

The definition of contingent means “dependent on or conditioned by something else”, such as payment being contingent on fulfillment of particular conditions. So, when a law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, that means that the fees you owe (if any) will depend on the outcome of your case.

The Basics of Contingency Fee Structures

The primary purpose of using contingency fee structures is the understanding that you have sustained a personal injury and likely do not have money to pay for an attorney upfront. When you hire an attorney on a contingency fee basis, you will not be required to pay any fees upfront, and in most cases, will owe nothing unless your case is resolved in your favor (i.e. “won”).

If you agree to the contingency fee structure, your attorney will then outline their fees, or you will agree upon a certain percentage of the amount sought in the claim. In most cases, contingency fee agreements award the attorney between 25-50 percent of the recovery amount. In the vast majority of personal injury cases, the standard percentage awarded to the attorney is one-third, or 33.33%.

It is important to note, however, that this percentage can vary greatly depending on the nature of the case and the limits to damages that can be pursued. Further, if your case settles outside of trial, such as through mediation, then the percentage awarded to the attorney may be less than if the case proceeds to trial.

How Contingency Fee Structures Work

You may be asking yourself how a legal case can proceed if you are not required to pay any fees upfront. When a contingency fee agreement is reached, your attorney will pay any fees related to the case, which may include:

  • Filing a lawsuit
  • Arranging deposition payments
  • Cost of obtaining medical records
  • Cost of serving documents to opposing parties

What Happens if I Lose my Case?

If you lose your case, there will be no recovery and thus, you will not be responsible for attorney’s fees. In these cases, neither you nor your attorney will receive a financial award. Depending on the details of your case and your fee agreement, you may or may not be responsible for some of the legal fees mentioned above.

Helping You Stay Financially Secure

At Daic Law, we understand how difficult it is to recover from a personal injury accident. Our goal is to help protect your rights and pursue justice with as little strain on your life and family as possible. Contact Daic Law today to schedule a free evaluation of your case. Send us an email, or call our office today to learn more.

Sources

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contingent

http://law.freeadvice.com/litigation/litigation/lawyer_contingency_fee.htm

http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/lawyers-fees.html