Understanding Contingency Fees and How They Help You

lawyer client with legal papersIf you have been injured in an accident, you may wonder whether you can afford to hire an attorney, even if you need one.

At Greg Coleman Law, our attorneys accept valid claims on a contingency basis, making it possible for anyone to afford the advantages and protection of legal representation after an accident.

Below, Greg Coleman Law explains contingency fees and how they may benefit you.

What Is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is a fee that is only due if your attorney is successful in recovering compensation for you. This means that if your lawyer does not recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf, he or she will not be paid. Your lawyer’s fees are contingent on you receiving monetary compensation for the damages you incurred.

Different Ways Attorneys May Charge You

There are other ways lawyers charge for their services, but these models can quickly become very costly during a lengthy personal injury case:

  • Retainer: A retainer works like a down payment, and in this model, it is a required payment a client must provide to the lawyer before any work starts. The retainer will cover an agreed-upon portion of legal services and then any additional work may be billed by the hour or at a flat rate.
  • Hourly: Often, lawyers simply charge for their services by the hour, and clients are then billed for these services on a monthly basis.
  • Flat rate: Lawyers may have different flat rates for different types of cases, such as a divorce case or different criminal defense cases.

What Are the Advantages of Hiring a Lawyer on Contingency?

Legal fees can add up very quickly, especially if your case is complex and takes a long time to resolve. The contingency fee system gives all injured victims, including those with very limited financial assets, an opportunity to obtain legal representation.

Since an injured victim will only have to pay for his or her lawyer’s legal services if the lawyer successfully recovers compensation, there is no financial risk involved for the victim.

As with any legal agreement, it is important to understand the payment terms and services before you sign a contract and any work begins. Make sure you understand payment terms before hiring a lawyer to represent you.

How and When is the Contingency Fee Paid?

The injured victim pays the fee after a settlement is negotiated or a court verdict is reached. However, it is not an “out-of-pocket” fee. The agreed-upon-fee for services rendered is deducted from the settlement or total jury award. The remainder of the award is issued to the injured victim.

How Much is the Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is a percentage of the total compensatory award – the amount paid to the injured victim. The attorney determines the percentage you will owe based on the complexity of a case, the potential for winning and the risk of taking it to trial. The more complicated a case - or risk involved for the attorney - the higher the contingency fee may be. Contingency fees generally range between 25 and 40 percent, with the average percentage being one third of the total award, or 33 and one-third percent.

There is always the chance that your case may settle with minimal work, which could result in you paying your attorney more through a contingency fee agreement than you would have paid for hourly legal services.

When the chances of a successful outcome are low, a contingency fee agreement is riskier for the attorney. You may run into difficulties finding an attorney willing to take your claim if your situation is more complex or carries too great a risk.

Contact Our Attorneys for Assistance

If you have suffered an injury because of another’s negligence, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. At Greg Coleman Law firm, our knowledgeable Knoxville personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping accident victims secure maximum compensation for their injuries.

Schedule a free, no-obligation personal injury consultation today so one of our qualified lawyers can review the circumstances of your potential claim and determine whether you may have legal options. We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees to pay. You only pay us if we are first successful in recovering compensation for you.

Submit our online case evaluation form or call: (865) 247-0080