If you’ve ever pursued a personal injury claim, you’ve likely seen the term “contingency fee” numerous times and wondered what it meant. Or perhaps, like many other accident victims, you may have completely dismissed the idea of a personal injury claim because you thought you couldn’t afford the expenses associated with an attorney.
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, don’t write off the idea of an attorney just because you think you can’t afford it. Learn more about what a contingency fee means, how it helps you, and how it affects your case. When you’re ready to move forward, call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-826-4129 to schedule a consultation with our team.
The Basics of a Contingency Fee
A contingency fee is a payment that is contingent on you receiving compensation for the injury you suffered. This means that the payment is only owed to the attorney only if they successfully recover compensation for you. While attorneys in many other fields work on an hourly basis, that isn’t the norm for personal injury law. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee structure.
How, then, is a contingency fee assessed? Rather than charging an hourly rate or charging a flat rate for a claim, most personal injury lawyers receive a percentage of the total compensation you are awarded. This amount is paid to them before you receive your check.
What It Means for You
This essentially means that you can hire an attorney for your personal injury claim without being out any money. This is a huge benefit for many accident victims who are already facing medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. In this situation, paying a retainer fee and hourly expenses to an attorney may not even be possible for many victims. Rather than being forced to go up against the insurance company because you can’t pay a lawyer’s retainer, you can find out if there’s a personal injury attorney who can take your case on a contingency fee structure.
Other Costs May Apply
It’s important to note that attorney’s fees are not the only expenses associated with a personal injury claim. Related fees include filing fees, court fees, discovery costs and deposition expenses, medical records recovery, and mediation costs. These expenses vary widely. For example, the costs of printing documents or sending mail may be minimal. On the other hand, the cost of hiring an expert witness could be quite high.
How these are handled is dependent on each attorney’s contract. Some attorneys cover these costs themselves if a case is unsuccessful, which means the accident victim truly does not have to pay anything. Other attorneys expect the client to pay these expenses, either as the expenses come up or at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome.
This can significantly change the financial impact of your case, so it’s very important to discuss this with an attorney during your free consultation. You definitely want to know what you are on the hook for if your case does not yield any compensation.
The Benefits of Contingency Fee Structures
There are numerous benefits associated with this type of fee structure. It makes it easier for victims without extra money laying around to hire a personal injury attorney—and those are the people who most often need the compensation available in a claim.
This type of fee structure also makes it easy to compare different personal injury attorneys. You can compare how much they take out of your settlement and how much of the case expenses you are expected to pay.
Anything that makes legal representation more widely available to the population at large is a success. Legal assistance should be available to those who need it, not only those who happen to have enough in savings to afford it.
Start Your Claim with Hodges Trial Lawyers
Are you ready to pursue the compensation you’re owed? If you are, we’re ready to jump in and start working. Set up a time to talk to our team now. Just call us at 256-826-4129 or fill out our contact form to have someone from the firm reach out to you.