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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is a Contingency Fee for Personal Injury Claim Situations? Everything One Should Know

Contingency fees are considered an arrangement whereby the attorney represents a client based on the condition that they will get paid only if they recover money for the victim. It's something many attorneys do because it eases the burden on the victims and helps them feel comfortable with the significant legal costs.

Traditionally, the attorney's fee must be paid, but only after the victim wins the settlement or verdict. If there's no compensation, the lawyer doesn't get anything. Let's learn more about it.

How Does the Contingency Fee Work?

How Does the Contingency Fee Work?

Generally, personal injury attorneys are compensated using the contingency fee basis. Therefore, they don't get paid the attorney fees until the client wins. Traditionally, a contingency fee arrangement works like this:

The client and lawyer agree on the percentage of recovery they get as their fee. Therefore, let's say the contingency fee agreement claims that the lawyer receives 33.3 percent of the settlement amount if they win. If the case settles or goes to court and the victim wins, the lawyer gets about 34 percent of the amount won. Remember that they're paying the expenses related to the claim out of their pockets.

Likewise, if there's no recovery, the victim isn't obligated to pay anything. Traditionally, no upfront costs are required to hire an injury attorney in Nashville in this situation.

The Basics for Contingency Fees

In a sense, the lawyer takes a percentage of the settlement award as their fee. Usually, the contingency fee basis uses a one-third percentage, though this can vary.

Therefore, if a victim gets a settlement for $300,000 from the other party's insurance company, the lawyer recovers $100,000 for the work they did.

There are many advantages of using the contingency fee basis. For example, the victim doesn't pay out-of-pocket expenses. Likewise, they won't owe anything to the lawyer if the claim is unsuccessful.

However, there could be drawbacks to contingency fees. Clearly, the victim gets less money awarded if they win the case; the lawyer will take a portion of it. Likewise, people could feel less in control over the claim because the attorney is financially incentivized to settle quickly without a trial. That doesn't happen at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys because the lawyers here go to war for Nash! They can advise on what percentage most personal injury lawyers take as well.

Types of Cases Using Contingency Fee Agreements

Contingency fees are primarily used in personal injury cases, such as slip-and-fall accidents, car accident claims, defective product claims, and medical malpractice cases. Therefore, contingency fee arrangements are often considered better because victims get the legal services they require, and the lawyer handles the financial risk.

What Percentage Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Charge?

The attorney's fee is usually a percentage of the total settlement recovered, which is roughly 40 percent. However, personal injury victims may also have to pay additional fees for any expenses incurred throughout the case.

Other Fees to Expect During Personal Injury Cases

When a victim has a contingency fee agreement in place with the lawyer, they might be required to cover other fees, such as:

  • Court costs

  • Cost for hiring expert witnesses

  • Investigation fees

  • Court filing fees

The attorney often advances those costs for the victim and is reimbursed from the settlement or award received. Therefore, it's crucial to talk about all the potential expenses and be upfront to avoid surprises.

How Much Money Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge?

In most cases, the lawyer's fees are directly tied to the contingency fee agreement in place. Therefore, they will likely get one-third of the victim's compensation award. However, attorneys can also charge for costs relating to the case, such as for obtaining medical records and the like.

Variations of the Contingency Fee Agreement

Contingency fee agreements can be structured in various ways for a personal injury case. Typically, the common one is the pure contingency fee. This is where the lawyer takes their percentage of the total verdict as the fee. It will vary based on how long it takes to settle the case and might be higher if they must go to trial.

There's also the hybrid contingency fee basis. Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, but they take a small percentage and charge an hourly fee, as well. Alternatively, the modified contingency fee allows the lawyer to take a small portion and gets paid when and if they can recover money for the victim.

Other Kinds of Structures

Though the contingency fee structure is the most popular, there are other ways attorneys can charge for their services. For example, the lawyer might only work on an hourly basis, charging for each hour they spend on the case.

Likewise, certain attorneys charge flat fees. This is a set amount that will cover all the work done on the case. It's often helpful because accident victims know exactly what they'll pay and won't deal with additional costs later.

Regardless of the fee structure used, it's crucial for the client to understand the details before hiring someone for the case. Otherwise, there could be surprises. Likewise, victims want to feel confident that they're getting appropriate legal representation.

Why Work on a Contingency-fee Basis

Why Work on a Contingency-fee Basis

It's usually better if the personal injury attorney agrees to work on a contingency fee basis. Clearly, injury victims don't have to pay out-of-pocket expenses upfront. Therefore, they'll get the services they require, regardless of their financial situation.

Likewise, the lawyer will handle all aspects of the personal injury case. This includes dealing with the insurance company and paying the legal fees initially. Overall, people like contingency agreements, though the lawyer will have a financial incentive to work fast.

Request a free consultation from Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today! There are no legal fees paid upfront until the injured person wins their case!

Hire Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today

Working with a personal injury attorney could be one of the best things an injured victim can do. The lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are here to help people and use a contingency fee agreement for all cases. They can also help with questions like is it illegal to sleep in your car in Tennessee?

If someone has been injured in an accident, they could be entitled to get financial compensation for the injuries. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can ensure they get what they deserve and works on the client's behalf. Request a free consultation today!


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