Many lawyers agree to take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the law firm will pay for the investigation and costs associated with filing a lawsuit and will collect their fees out of what they are able to obtain in the final settlement or award. These fees are usually a percentage of the amount of money the attorney obtains for the client. This means that the plaintiff owes nothing and pays nothing until you win or settle your case out of court. It really is that easy!
What Legal Matters Do Contingency Fees Apply To?
All personal injury matters such as car, boat, truck, motorcycle, and work accidents can operate under a contingency fee, as well as cases regarding defective products, drugs and malpractice cases. Violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act can also be pursued under a contingency agreement. Contingency fee agreements may also apply to the collection of large debts and employment law cases. Very rarely, a business litigation case or real estate case can involve a contingency fee. Criminal cases, adoption cases, immigration cases, divorce cases, bankruptcy cases, drafting of contracts, wills, trusts or other legal documents and business issues are never covered under a contingency fee agreement.
What is the “Normal” Contingency Fee?
Obviously, a lawyer who takes cases on a contingency basis is well aware of the risks involved, and therefore, is very selective regarding the contingency fee cases he or she accepts. Contingency fees generally range from 33 percent to 40 percent, depending on several factors, including the strength of the case and the potential amount the client could receive.
An experienced attorney will consider the likely out-of-pocket expenses the firm will cover including expert witness fees, filing fees, court reporter fees, transcript fees and mediation fees. The attorney will also consider the time and labor involved in the case, the legal skill set necessary, the time limitations associated with the case and the nature and length of the attorney’s professional relationship with the client.
Contingency fees allow everyone to seek justice after an accident or a wrong has been done to them. After all, justice is for all – not just those who can afford it. If you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit, but aren’t sure how you are going to pay the lawyer fees, ask your attorney about a contingency fee arrangement.