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What is a Contingency Fee Agreement?

When you have suffered damages due to someone else’s negligence and are ready to take the necessary steps towards recovering compensation, hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis may be an option. A contingency agreement entails the lawyer receiving a percentage of the compensation recovered instead of an upfront fee. Our trusted Bradenton Personal Injury Lawyers can assist you in determining whether a contingency agreement is the best payment structure for your case. Please continue reading to learn the pros and cons of this legal arrangement. 

How Does a Contingency Agreement Work?

During your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer, they will examine the merits of your case to assess the chances of a successful outcome. In most cases, personal injury lawyers are willing to take cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is a legal arrangement in which a lawyer’s fee is contingent upon the successful outcome of a case. In contrast to a fixed hourly rate, the lawyer would only receive compensation for their legal services if their client receives compensation or a favorable settlement. When clients agree to pay a contingency fee, they agree to give their lawyer a percentage of their settlement or trial verdict. The lawyer will deduct their fee and any agreed-upon expenses from the total amount awarded to you. Ultimately, if the case is unsuccessful and no compensation is obtained, you will not owe the lawyer any fees.

What Are the Advantages?

With a contingency fee agreement, clients don’t have to pay any fees upfront. This means you won’t face significant legal ills while your case is still ongoing, enabling you to focus on your recovery. Essentially, this payment structure provides greater access to quality legal representation and the court system for those lacking financial resources. In today’s economy, most people can’t afford to hire a lawyer hourly, as a case can take months or even years to resolve. This legal arrangement allows those who don’t have the means to pursue their claim without financial risk. They are not obligated to pay any lawyer fees if their case is lost.

In addition, you can rest assured that your lawyer will fight for the maximum compensation for your damages, as they have a direct financial stake in the matter. As mentioned above, a lawyer will only receive compensation if the case is won. Therefore, they are highly motivated and will do everything possible to render a favorable outcome because they don’t get paid unless you do.

What Are the Disadvantages?

While this payment structure has numerous benefits, contingency fees aren’t always the best bet for some clients. Unfortunately, a contingency fee arrangement could cost you more than a regular hourly fee. If your case is resolved relatively quickly, you may be better off paying a fixed hourly rate rather than on a contingency basis, as it could mean a smaller payout. A standard contingency fee can range from 30% to 50% of the final award. This means if your lawyer only works for one week or one year, they will still receive the same amount of your settlement. Furthermore, if you have a “risky” case, the lawyer may negotiate a higher fee as they fear they have low odds of winning.

As you can see, as with anything, contingency fee agreements have benefits and potential drawbacks. If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, please don’t hesitate to contact a dedicated lawyer from Becker & Lindauer, LLC, who can help you determine whether a contingency fee agreement is right for you.