A contingency fee basis essentially means that your lawyer would only get paid if you received a settlement or a court award. When considering your options for pursuing a personal injury case, you would probably come across this term frequently.
Although this might seem suspect at first, it is one of the standard methods of payment in the legal profession. It is especially prevalent in the area of personal injury law.
Contingency fees overview
As explained on FindLaw, contingency fees are the traditional pricing for situations when you have a personal injury case likely to result in a payment. You and your lawyer would discuss the exact amount of the fee — it would be an important part of your representation agreement.
Aspects of contingency pricing
Contingency is a mutually beneficial structure for injured people and their lawyers. If attorneys agree to accept your case on this basis, it would probably be because:
- They believe you have a good chance of receiving a sizeable payment
- They are willing to help you without initial fees
- They accept the risk of not getting paid if your case does not succeed
One of the major benefits of this system is that you get access to legal help for no upfront fee. If you were already having a hard time paying for medical bills or other expenses, this could help you retain counsel without unnecessary delay.
There are other ways that an attorney might charge you, including hourly fees or fixed rates for specific services. It would be up to you and your lawyer to determine what works best for everybody.