What is a Contingency Fee?
If you have browsed personal injury lawyer websites or have read any materials provided by them, you have likely come across the phrase “contingency fee.” When an attorney claims that they “work on contingency” or take contingency fees, what does that actually mean? How are those attorneys compensated for the work that they do for you? Do you ever owe them any fees up front? Is it true that you owe “nothing” if they do not win? Read on to learn about contingency fees in a personal injury lawsuit, and reach out to the Kistler Law Firm if you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in Palmdale.
Contingency Fees: You Pay if You Win
Different lawyers have different types of fee structures. Some attorneys charge by the task–for example, $500 per contract drafted. Some attorneys charge by the hour–for example, $200/hour for all case-related work. Some charge by the entire matter–for example, $800 flat to have your criminal records expunged.
When a lawyer charges contingency fees, which are typical to personal injury matters, that means that the lawyer will take a portion of the compensation they obtain for the client in connection with the matter. If the lawyer obtains a favorable settlement or a verdict at trial, the lawyer will be paid out of those winnings. At the Kistler Law Firm, that also means that if we do not secure any compensation for our client, then we do not get paid. If we don’t win for you, then you don’t owe us a dime.
In your initial consultation with your personal injury attorney, you will learn how the contingency fee works and what percentage of your final award will be paid to your personal injury lawyer as their contingency fee. Typically, personal injury lawyers collect around a third of the settlement or jury verdict.
Do I Owe Any Litigation Fees or Other Costs Up Front?
Filing a lawsuit takes money. There are fees to file a case, fees for filing motions and other court documents, costs for printing services and to obtain medical reports, etc. At the Kistler Law Firm, we cover all of those costs up front. You will never have to pay a filing fee in advance to get your case going. Litigation costs such as filing fees will be taken out of the final compensation obtained after trial or settlement, in addition to the agreed-upon percentage to cover the attorney’s contingency fee. If we do not get you any compensation through a settlement or at trial, you will not be responsible for paying back the litigation costs. If there are any special expenses, such as expert retainer fees, that may require alternate cost arrangements, we will discuss those with you in advance and ensure that all agreements are clear and in writing.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt by a drunk or distracted driver, a slip and fall on another’s hazardous property, or otherwise due to the negligence of another person, call a dedicated and trial-ready Palmdale personal injury attorney about pursuing a claim for damages by calling the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990.