What Does Contingency Fee Mean?
Being injured can be overwhelming. You may be out of work with mounting medical bills. You need legal advice about a personal injury claim, but how are you going to afford to hire a lawyer when you cannot work?
A contingent fee agreement is one method of hiring a Florida personal injury lawyer to handle your accident claim. The contingency fee agreement allows you to hire a lawyer without worrying about paying attorney fees upfront. You can have an experienced legal team working on your behalf without paying any legal fees until after your case.
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What is a Contingency Basis for Legal Services?
A contingency fee is a form of payment for legal services. Many attorneys charge for legal services based on an hourly fee. The attorney may require an upfront retainer fee and bills the client as services are performed. These fees are due regardless of whether the attorney is able to win the case or deliver the outcome the client desires.
However, other lawyers work on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases. Their attorney fees are based on the outcome of the case.
Attorneys accept all types of personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, including medical malpractice claims, motor vehicle accidents, product liability claims, and premises liability claims.
How Does a Contingent Fee Basis Work?
The Florida Rules of Professional Conduct permit attorneys to accept cases on a contingency basis. However, the client and the attorney must agree to the terms of the contingency fee when the client retains the attorney.
A contingency fee is based on the percentage of the settlement proceeds or jury verdict obtained in a case. It represents the payment to the attorney for legal services provided during the case. Before the attorney disburses the funds to the client, the attorney deducts the agreed-upon percentage from the funds.
For example, if the contingency fee is 25% and the amount recovered in the case is $1 million, the attorneys’ fee would be $250,000 (25% x $1 million).
If the lawyer does not recover compensation for the client, the attorney does not receive any money for their services. The client is not required to pay any attorneys’ fees.
What Factors Impact the Percentage of a Contingency Fee?
Personal injury attorneys in Florida generally charge about the same amount for a contingency fee. However, several factors could impact the amount charged for a specific case.
Factors that could impact a contingency fee include:
- The type of personal injury case and the complexity of the issues involved
- The parties involved in the case
- The attorney’s experience level and education
- An attorney’s special certifications, skills, or resources
- The attorney’s trial experience and record
- The geographical location of the case
Contingency fees benefit clients in numerous ways. First, the client does not need to worry about how to pay a lawyer for legal services. Furthermore, the client does not need to worry about paying for services if the attorney fails to win the case.
Furthermore, the personal injury lawyer is motivated to obtain the maximum value available for a case. Higher settlements and jury verdicts mean higher attorneys’ fees. This motivation benefits the client because the client receives more money, too.
Who Pays the Cost of the Case?
In addition to attorneys’ fees, there are certain costs associated with pursuing a personal injury claim.
The costs of the case could include, but are not limited to:
- Court filing fees
- Fees for expert witnesses
- Copy and postage fees
- Travel expenses
- Deposition fees
- Fees related to discovery
- Costs of investigation
The above fees can be very costly in a large case. As a result, some attorneys require clients to pay these fees as they are billed.
However, many attorneys pay these fees instead of billing the client. When the attorney settles the case, he deducts the costs of the case from the settlement proceeds after they deduct attorneys’ fees. The remaining proceeds are paid to the client.
Before retaining an attorney, ask how the costs of the case are paid. Are you responsible for paying these costs as they are billed? Will you still owe the costs if the lawyer fails to win the case?
It is important that you understand whether you are responsible for paying these fees and when the fees will be due.
Call Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Our Florida personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm, P.A. understand that you and your family have been through a traumatic event. We want to make seeking legal advice and hiring a personal injury attorney as stress-free as possible.
Contact the Alen Law Firm to schedule a free consultation to discuss our typical contingent fee for personal injury cases. We want to help you get the money you need and deserve after an accident or injury.