What is a Contingency Fee?

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Attorneys often take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that a person seeking assistance from the attorney will not have to worry about any upfront or out-of-pocket costs, and they will only pay legal fees after their attorney secures the compensation that they need.

Anytime a person sustains an injury caused by the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of someone else, they will usually be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, the process of securing compensation in these situations can be incredibly challenging. In most situations, individuals will be able to recover compensation through a settlement with an insurance carrier. That is not always the case, though. Sometimes, it becomes necessary for an injured party to file a personal injury lawsuit against an at-fault party.

Regardless of whether or not a claim is settled with an insurance carrier or through a personal injury lawsuit, these situations become expensive. It can be very difficult for an injured person to afford legal assistance from a personal injury attorney. That is where a contingency fee will come in.

Understanding the Need for a Contingency Fee

The reality is that most injury victims do not have the resources necessary to pay for every aspect of an injury claim themselves. Even claims that only involve insurance carriers can become costly, particularly if the insurance carrier at-fault party denies the claim or refuses to offer enough compensation. For instances where a personal injury lawsuit becomes necessary, it is important to stress just how expensive litigation can become.

Paying for an attorney out-of-pocket and paying for all of the costs associated with investigating an injury claim as well as taking the case to court, is something that the vast majority of people in this country cannot afford. We are talking about tens of thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands, of dollars to see a personal injury case all the way through to the end.
A contingency fee is the best way for individuals harmed by the actions of others to ensure they have adequate legal representation.

Many people often wonder why attorneys will take cases on a contingency fee basis. The reality is that when these cases are successful, the attorney is going to be making money as well. Even before beginning to work on a case, an accident attorney will work out a specific percentage that they will be paid out of the final settlement or jury verdict amount.

In most situations, the contingency fee will range from 30% to 35% of the final settlement or jury verdict amount, though these percentages can fluctuate up or down. Even though this may seem like a large percentage of the final settlement, the reality is that the injured individual will likely receive much more compensation when they work with an attorney than they would have otherwise received if they tried to handle the case by themselves, even after the attorney is paid.

For example, let us suppose that Bobby gets into a car accident and decides to handle the case by himself. Perhaps he ends up obtaining a $10,000 settlement for his injuries and other losses. However, what would have happened if Bobby worked with an attorney? We can only theorize, but let us suppose that an attorney would have been able to obtain a $100,000 settlement. For simplicity, we will say that the contingency fee was 30%. In this case, Bobby would receive $70,000, and his attorney would receive $30,000. This is much more compensation than the $10,000 Bobby received on his own.

What Happens if the Case is Unsuccessful?

In the event a personal injury case ends up not being successful, the injury victim will not have to pay any legal fees. Attorneys offer contingency fees with the understanding that there is a chance that they may not win the case. However, we do want to state again that working with an attorney raises the likelihood that a person will be successful with their claim.