This is a great question that gets asked all the time. And it’s important. After all, most people are afraid of being shut out of the legal process simply because they can’t afford an attorney. They are therefore concerned that they’ll be unable to build the compelling claim that they need to recover compensation for their extensive damages, which may include lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and more.
Fortunately, there are affordable options for those seeking to obtain legal assistance. While a personal injury attorney may charge you a flat hourly rate or a flat fee, in most instances an attorney is going to ask you to enter into a contingency fee arrangement.
What is a contingency fee?
When you enter into a contingency fee arrangement, you and your attorney agree that the attorney will only be paid if you succeed on your claim. This means that your attorney will only get paid if you win. The ultimate amount of money paid to the attorney will depend on a number of factors, including the percentage to be paid that is specified in the agreement and the ultimate recovery amount. In most contingency fee cases, your attorney will pay out of pocket costs and expenses incurred in prosecuting your case and you will only be responsible for reimbursing these expenses to your attorney when you win your case. These expenses will usually be deducted from your settlement or recovery after the deduction of the attorney’s fee. Contingency fee agreements have many benefits, too. Let’s look at some of them:
- Access: First, contingency fee arrangements allow everyone to secure access to legal representation. Even those who are without financial resources can obtain an advocate through one of these agreements. So, if you’re struggling financially, you can turn to one of these arrangements so that you can put the money you have now where it really matters: towards your recovery.
- Motivation: Another benefit of the contingency fee agreement is that it motivates your attorney to work hard. If he or she is only going to get paid by winning, then he or she is going to do everything possible to succeed on your claim. Therefore, with one of these arrangements, you don’t have to worry about whether your attorney is working hard for you.
- Clear picture: For those who are unaccustomed to the legal arena, it’s hard to gauge the strength of a case. But through a contingency fee arrangement, you’ll have an indication if your case is strong. After all, an attorney isn’t likely to take a weak case on a contingency basis because it could end up being too costly.
- Peace of mind: In the aftermath of a car accident, you need to focus on your recovery, not how you’re going to pay your attorney. Through a contingency fee arrangement, you can place your focus where it really matters, thereby putting your mind at ease. Essentially, there’s very little or any risk for you to pursue contingency-fee-related representation, which should alleviate your stress considerably.
So, how much is your attorney going to cost?
Again, it really depends on the circumstances of your case. If you want to pay an attorney by the hour to represent you, then you can do so, but you may not have a clear picture of exactly how much time your attorney is going to have to put into your case without discussing the matter with him or her first. If you choose representation on a contingency fee basis, then you’ll at least know what percentage of your recovery will go to your attorney. That may be a better way for you to gauge whether the cost is appropriate.
We know that navigating the legalities of your accident can be stressful while you’re just trying to recover from your injuries. But that’s why law firms like ours stand ready to help. So, if you’d like to learn more about what legal representation can do for you and what it might cost, then please consider reaching out to a law firm that you think is right for you.