Have you seen commercials for personal injury attorneys that advertise that “We don’t get paid until you do”? Have you ever wondered how that works exactly? This is an example of a contingency fee arrangement.
What is a Contingency Agreement?
A contingency fee agreement is a payment arrangement that allows someone to obtain legal representation even if they do not have the money to pay a lawyer up front. Instead of paying attorney’s fees in advance, the client instead agrees to pay the attorney a percentage of the client’s award if they win the case. The exact amount of the contingency fee will depend on your individual arrangement with the attorney. The use of contingency fees is governed by the state bar association.
Contingency Fee Contracts
Your contract with the lawyer will specify exactly how the contingency arrangement will work. Typically, the client will pay little or no lawyer’s fee up front. The client will not pay legal fees until he or she wins.
Contingent fee agreements are typically used in cases where a plaintiff is seeking compensation for some type of injury, such as a car accident, motorcycle accident, or medical malpractice case.
In a contingency agreement, an attorney will typically pay the expenses of a lawsuit up front including filing fees, depositions, medical records, and expert witnesses. Those fees then come out of the total award.
A personal injury lawyer who takes a case on a contingency fee basis will typically receive a different amount based upon how far the case progresses. If your personal injury case is settled outside of court, you will typically pay a lesser percentage than if the attorney has to take your case to trial.
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