When your personal injury attorney informs you that they work on a contingent fee basis, this means that he or she gets paid if, and only if, he or she recovers monetary damages for you. This also means your lawyer will be compensated in proportion to the total amount of damages you are awarded.
The amount of your damages award paid to your lawyer is a fixed percentage of this recovery, which you and your attorney will agreed-upon when you retain them. Your attorney will likely also be entitled to reimbursement for their operating costs or out-of-pocket expenses from your personal injury award.
The majority of personal injury and wrongful death 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.
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, 33%-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.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident, you need the help of a qualified personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Murphy & Garner, LLC, have years of experience representing personal injury victims and we will fight for the compensation you deserve and need to recover from your injuries.