What is a Contingency Fee?


When you are injured in an accident, discussing your options with a qualified attorney is essential. Sometimes, settling with an insurance company will be the best option. In others, taking legal action will make more sense.

Your initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer should be free of cost and obligation. In other words, you should feel free to meet with as many attorneys from as many firms as necessary until you find one you feel confident in, and that process of seeking should not cost you anything. But what happens after you choose an attorney? How do they get paid going forward?

Contingency Fees

Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. Therefore, you only pay your attorney’s fee if you prevail in your claim. Under this agreement, should your claim be denied or dismissed, you won’t owe your attorney anything.

A contingency fee is an agreement between you and your lawyer that allows for a portion of your settlement or verdict to be used as payment for attorney fees. The amount can vary from case to case and might be influenced by factors including the complexity of the case and the amount of work required to secure the best outcome. This fee may be negotiable and can absolutely play a role in which attorney you choose for your claim.

A contingency agreement covers an attorney’s fees, but may not extend to court costs, such as fees for filing a claim. In addition, it may not cover the costs of obtaining records, hiring witnesses, and additional charges initially absorbed by the firm representing your case. Even if you do not prevail, you may ultimately be responsible for these costs. Therefore, you must understand what the contingency agreement covers before working with a lawyer to be prepared for any eventuality.

Choosing an Attorney

When you are selecting an attorney for your case, be sure to ask for detailed information about their contingency fee. Make sure it is in line with what you find acceptable. Again, if you are not entirely confident or happy with how a firm operates, you have every right to meet with another until you have found an acceptable agreement.

Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer? Use our directory to find an experienced attorney in your area to discuss your rights and options today.