You have probably heard of contingent attorney’s fees, but do you know what that means? It means that your attorney is paid only if they recover money in your case, and they are paid proportionally to the amount recovered. This is different from paying your attorney an hourly rate. The percentage of your recovery paid to your lawyer is agreed upon beforehand, and your attorney will also be able to collect reimbursement for their out-of-pocket expenses.
The majority of personal injury, wrongful death, Workers’ Compensation and Social Security disability cases in the United States are handled on a contingency fee basis. Here are some of the advantages associated with utilizing a contingency fee pay structure for both you and your lawyer.
1. Contingency fees help attorneys decide which cases to pursue and which cases to turn down. Because your attorney only gets paid if they successfully recover damages, your attorney will likely only take your case if it has substantial merit. Otherwise, your attorney will be wasting their time and resources.
2. A contingency fee pay structure also encourages your attorney to be prudent when spending money for litigation costs. Litigation costs include filing fees, expert witnesses, court exhibits, travel costs, court reporters, etc. Because these costs can be extremely high in some cases, attorneys that work on a contingency fee basis typically advance these costs because their clients cannot do so. However, because your attorney knows that they will only be reimbursed for the money they advance for litigation expenses, they typically will only spend what is necessary. This will work to your benefit when it comes time to pay your lawyer back from the amount they recover for you.
3. Contingency fees also give you a fighting chance against major insurance companies and large corporations who may be at fault for your injury. These corporations have virtually unlimited resources, and you likely do not have the money to pay your lawyer $250 -$500 an hour for years of litigation. This is particularly true if you have already had to pay money for medical bills as a result of your injury. Contingency fees have been called “the poor man’s keys to the courthouse.”
As you can see, paying your attorney on a contingency fee basis can be advantageous. Though the percentage you will have to pay your attorney will differ depending on the type of case, 25%-40% is common. This amount can be higher or lower, depending on the complexity of your case or whether there is a likelihood of resolving the case before trial. In Social Security disability cases, the maximum fee is 25% of the past-due income benefits, not to exceed $6ooo. In Workers’ Compensation cases in Georgia, the maximum contingency fee is 25% of the weekly benefits or settlement amount. Our firm only charges a contingency fee on income benefits in Workers’ Compensation cases, while others will also charge you a percentage of medical expenses in a settlement. Before you hire an attorney, be sure you have a good understanding of details regarding the contingent fees.
The attorneys at Murphy & Garner have decades of experience representing individuals in personal injury, Workers’ Compensation and Social Security disability cases on a contingency fee basis. If you or a loved one has been injured in any sort of accident, or suffer from a serious disability you should schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today by calling (678) 563-1584.