If you or a loved one recently sustained injuries and other damages as a result of another person’s negligence, the law may entitle you to compensation via a personal injury claim. However, given your current financial circumstances, you may hesitate to bring a lawsuit for the sole fact that you can barely afford your cost of living, much less pay for an attorney.
The good news is that most personal injury lawyers know that money is tight for accident victims. As a result, many work on a contingency fee basis. Nolo explains what a contingency fee arrangement is and how it may work for you.
The basics of a contingency fee arrangement
When you hire an attorney on a contingency fee basis, it means that you do not have to pay any lawyer fees until and if you receive some time of monetary recovery from your claim. In other words, your lawyer understands that your obligation to repay him or her for his or her services is contingent upon your receiving some type of compensation. Contingency fee arrangements are most common among personal injury lawyers.
If your lawyer is successful in helping you recover compensation, he or she will pay him or herself a percentage of your recovery. The percentage is one upon which you and him or she agree prior to entering a legal contract. However, the standard percentage is around one-third, or 33%, of a final award or settlement. Attorneys may charge more, though, if the level of risk associated with your case is substantial or if he or she agrees to pay court and litigation fees until those close of your case.
Though a contingency fee arrangement can help eliminate many of the upfront costs associated with a personal injury lawsuit, there are still out-of-pocket costs you will have to cover. These include court and filing fees, which average about $400; discovery costs; the costs associated with obtaining evidence; the costs of hiring expert witnesses; and overhead and incidentals.
Because of contingency fee arrangements, quality legal representation does not have to be out of reach. You can pursue the maximum amount of compensation for your or your loved one’s harm without adding additional stress to your life.