How Contingency Fees With Personal Injury Attorneys Work
If you are filing a civil suit against another individual or against a company for injuries, and are seeking a financial settlement, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer. Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Before you hire a lawyer working on a contingency fee basis, make sure you understand what you are getting into.
When an attorney agrees to work on a contingent fee basis, they are agreeing not to charge you any money for the time they put into your case. Any compensation they earn for their work on your case is dependent upon you winning your case and being awarded a financial settlement. Your attorney will be paid either a set amount or a set percentage of your settlement in return for their work on your case.
The fee you agree upon and end up paying your attorney can vary greatly. Some contingency fee agreements are based on a percentage of the settlement. For example, you may agree to pay your attorney 25% of anything you are awarded.
Some contingency fee agreements are based upon a sliding scale. Your attorney may take a certain percentage of a set dollar amount, and then take a smaller percentage of remaining settlement. For example, you may agree that your attorney will get 50% of the first $5,000 of your settlement, and then a smaller percentage of the rest of your settlement.
Make sure you are comfortable with the contingency fee agreement. You should still have enough money to pay for your expenses after paying your lawyer. Do not agree to an amount you are not comfortable with.
Many states limit the types of contingency fee agreements you can enter into. In these states, attorneys are limited to a certain percentage of the settlement. Your attorney should be able to inform you of any limits your state has in place.
A Contingency Fee Doesn't Mean Free
It is import to note that a contingent fee agreement does not mean you will not have to pay any money at all. Your attorney may require you to pay for different expenses.
For example, you may have to pay the court costs associated with filing your lawsuit. Your attorney may also ask you to pay for other things such as copies of legal documents and for expert witness testimony.
With a contingent fee agreement, your lawyer is agreeing to be paid based on the outcome of your case. However, you will still have to pay for expenses outside of your lawyer's time that are connected to your case.
Before you hire an attorney to help you with your civil suit, make sure you understand the contingency fee agreement that you enter into. If you feel that the compensation level is too high, try to negotiate or find a lawyer whose fee you are comfortable with. Finally, remember that free does not really mean free. Be sure to ask about what type of out of pocket expenses you can expect to pay. Whiting, Hagg, Hagg, Dorsey & Hagg is a local and reputable law firm you can visit with questions.