Understanding Contingency Fees
If you suffered injuries and financial losses as the result of another’s negligence, you could recover compensation such as medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering, property damage and more.
A personal injury attorney can help you pursue both justice and compensation, by collecting the necessary evidence to prove that the negligent party actually caused your accident. Most personal injury lawyers work for “contingency fees”. Understanding contingency fees can be important if you are considering hiring an attorney to help you with your case. Tyroler Injury Law can help. Call us now for a free case review at (651) 259-1113.
What Is a Contingency Fee?
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), a contingency fee agreement allows a client to only pay an attorney if and when they win their case or recover a settlement. The contingency fee is typically a percentage of the recovered amount. In essence, the fee an attorney gets is “contingent” upon him or her winning your case and receiving compensation on your behalf.
However, understanding contingency fees is important and there can be additional expenses and costs. Take the time to examine the contract that your attorney provides you carefully to determine if you may have any costs at all associated with your case even if you lose. Even if this is the case, contingency fees can be a good way for victims to get professional legal representation without having to worry about any substantial financial risks.
While a victim may not be responsible for the attorney fees related to a personal injury case if they lose, they could be responsible for other miscellaneous costs when their attorney files a lawsuit on their behalf. Regardless of whether a victim wins or loses a case, they will most likely have to pay for expenses such as:
- Court filing fees
- Fees for pulling official documents
- Expert witness fees
- Reporter and transcript fees
- Other incidental costs
Each attorney handles these miscellaneous costs differently, and it is extremely important to talk to your prospective lawyer about this. While some attorneys tie these fees into their final fee, some may expect you to pay for these expenses upfront.
Consider Avoiding Lawyers That Do Not Offer Contingency Fees
Lawyers that work with a contingency fee and accept your case will only do so if they consider that there is a fair chance of winning your personal injury claim or recovering an out-of-court settlement. They are willing to take the financial risk and expend the resources to work on your claim. However, not all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.
Oftentimes, new firms or attorneys starting out may not have the resources to work on a contingency fee agreement. Some lawyers insist on charging a retainer up front before they begin working on your case. Other attorneys charge exorbitant hourly fees. Retainers can cost several thousands of dollars and hourly fees of hundreds of dollars per hour soon add up. If you end up losing your case, you not only have to pay for your own damages but could also face steep attorney’s costs. Therefore, it can be in your best interest to work with a lawyer who agrees to a contingency fee arrangement.
How Much Is the Typical Contingency Fee?
The best way to understand a contingency fee is to determine what the fee encompasses. A contingency fee is not a fixed amount and will vary from case to case. The more a client recovers, the higher a potential attorney’s fee will be in those cases. A contingency fee is typically calculated as a percentage of the plaintiff’s final settlement.
While contingency fee percentages can differ from anywhere between 25 to 40 percent, depending on the attorney, the average contingency fee tends to be around a third of the final settlement amount. Contact Tyroler Injury Law for more information about their contingency fees and learn more about your legal rights.
Discuss Attorney’s Fees at an Initial Consultation
Since every attorney has their own fees and fee structure, you should make sure to ask questions about the contingency fee agreement in the initial consultation with a law firm or attorney. If you feel that your questions about the fee structure are avoided or not answered fully, the law firm may not be a good match for you.
Make sure that you know exactly what you are responsible for before signing any agreements with a personal injury lawyer. In this way, you can avoid any potential nasty surprises and unexpected charges further down the line.
Why Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Faced with the potential expenses of hiring an attorney, many individuals wonder whether hiring an attorney is “worth it”. The answer is: it depends. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 37.9 million emergency department visits for injuries in 2018 alone. Accident costs can be astronomical and, in the case of a permanent injury, ongoing.
However, if you suffered no injuries or only minor injuries in an accident, and you are able to recover your damages from an insurance company, there may not be a need to hire an attorney. On the other hand, if you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of another, and you now face steep medical bills and high-income losses, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you pursue what you deserve and protect your rights.
A personal injury lawyer can help you in several ways, including but not limited to:
- Gathering the evidence to prove your claim and your damages through an independent investigation
- Calculate your losses comprehensively and accurately
- Determine all negligent parties in your claim
- Communicating with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Fighting for a fair out-of-court settlement
- Representing you aggressively in court
A seasoned personal injury attorney knows how to handle a claim and can work tirelessly in your best interests while you are free to recover from your injuries.
Contact Tyroler Injury Law for Help Now
Understanding contingency fees can be somewhat complicated. However, when you attend the first consultation with us, we will inform you openly and honestly about our fee structure and the potential costs associated with filing a case.
If you suffered significant injuries in an accident due to another’s negligent actions or recklessness, you can get help and do not have to struggle on your own. Tyroler Injury Law can protect your rights and fight for what you deserve. Find out if you have a strong case and call us today for a free consultation: (651) 259-1113.