Most injury lawyers, like Kuzyk Law, charge a contingency fee. But if you have never dealt with a lawyer before, you might not know how contingency fees work and their benefits when compared to other fee structures.
When you hire an injury lawyer, you should discuss how the lawyer charges for services. This will reduce the risk of any misunderstandings or disputes about fees later in the representation. At the same time, you should also understand the basics of how contingency fees work so you know which questions to ask your prospective lawyer.
Here is an overview of how contingency fees work and their benefits for accident victims.
Legal Fee Structures
Lawyer fees usually fall into three categories:
Lawyers charge a flat fee when they know exactly how much work a project will require. Flat fees provide both the lawyer and client predictability.
For example, a lawyer might charge $500 to prepare a simple will. The lawyer knows exactly how much time to spend on the project based on the fee charged. And the clients know that they will get a completed will for the fee paid.
Lawyers usually charge hourly fees when they have no idea how much work a project may require. Thus, litigating a dispute with your landlord might take one hour or one year of work. As a result, the lawyer will charge you for the time spent working on your case. The lawyer gets compensated for the work put into the case.
A contingency fee depends on the outcome of the case. Rather than compensating the lawyer based on the work put into the case, a contingency fee compensates a lawyer based on the result the lawyer produces.
A contingency fee is calculated as a percentage of the compensation the lawyer gets for you. A lawyer who charges a 35% contingency fee will receive 35% of any settlement or damage award in your case. The lawyer calculates the fee by multiplying your compensation by the fee percentage. Thus, a 35% contingency fee on a $100,000 settlement will leave you with $65,000 after fees.
Benefits of Contingency Fees
Contingency fees provide several benefits to accident victims including:
- No upfront fees for the lawyer to start your case
- No fees if the lawyer loses your case
- You keep the bulk of your compensation instead of seeing it all eaten up in fees
- The lawyer has an incentive to maximize your compensation
Contingency fees give accident victims access to high-quality representation even though they may have no cash flow. This allows accident victims to pursue injury compensation while preserving their resources to cover medical treatment and daily expenses.
Most accident victims face difficult financial situations. Law firms that represent accident victims, like Kuzyk Law, know that you face a mountain of medical expenses for treatment, therapy, and medication. You may also face a loss of income due to your injuries and the time you take off for medical appointments.
Since you do not need to pay the lawyer’s fees out of your pocket, you can spend your income and savings on recovering from your injuries and taking care of your family. Lawyers usually only take contingency fee cases that they believe in. This means that the lawyer will work diligently on your case, waiting alongside you for the eventual payout.
Hiring a Contingency Fee Lawyer
A contingency fee lawyer must provide you with a written fee agreement. This fee agreement will outline the terms of the lawyer’s engagement. Review the agreement carefully and ask any questions you have.