What Are The Fees For My Case?
Most personal injury attorneys take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee payment agreement makes it possible for an injured plaintiff, who is looking for a legal remedy, to obtain legal representation, even if they cannot afford to pay a lawyer at the beginning of their case. A client does not have to pay any money toward a contingency fee up front. Instead, they agree to pay an attorney a percentage of their award, should they prevail in their case. Each attorney’s contingency fee agreement will dictate the amount and the circumstances of payment. The rules governing the practice of law in your state will also frequently determine whether contingency fees are appropriate for your case.
After a contingency fee agreement is reviewed and signed, your attorney will pay for the upfront expenses of your lawsuit. These expenses can include filing fees, conducting depositions, and obtaining copies of medical records or reports. If your attorney manages to obtain a judgment or negotiate a settlement on your behalf, the contingency agreement you signed will control exactly how your funds are to be dispersed.
Some contingency fee agreements use what is called a graduated percentage contract. If your lawyer has to file a lawsuit and actually take it to trial, his or her agreement may specify a higher percentage for legal fees because more time and effort is required for litigation and trial you’re your attorney does not have to file a lawsuit because he or she managed to negotiate your settlement through mediation or some other form of dispute resolution, then the contingency fee payment agreement may provide that you pay a smaller percentage in legal fees.
Some attorneys’ contingency fee agreements specify that you pay for expenses plus a percentage. If you entered such a contingency fee agreement and your attorney won you a $50,000 judgment at a jury trial, but only after spending $5,000 on expenses, he or she would recoup their expenses first, and then distribute the remaining $45,000 in funds, including a percentage for legal fees.