Personal Injury Services
Contingent Fees In Personal Injury Litigation
Personal injury litigation is one of the few areas of the law where even those with limited means have equal access to justice. The reason: the contingent fee agreement.
We handle most personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. If we decide that you have a case to pursue and we recover money for you, we take a percentage of that recovery as our fee. If we decide that there is no claim to pursue or if we do not recover any money for you, you owe us nothing.
The contingent fee must be distinguished from expenses, which ordinarily remain an obligation of the client. We generally advance case expenses on your behalf. Some cases, such as medical malpractice claims, can be extremely expensive to pursue on your behalf. We will advance these expenses and if we obtain a recovery for you, those expenses are repaid to us from your recovery.
There are a number of advantages to you in this type of fee arrangement, the most obvious is the lack of financial risk in the event that there is no recovery. Another advantage is that in some respects we are partners in your claim. The fact that we are willing to handle your claim on a contingent basis tells you that we have a high degree of confidence in a financial recovery in your claim.
A final advantage of the contingent fee agreement is that it motivates the attorney to maximize your recovery. In other types of litigation the client pays the attorney by the hour or the attorney charges a fixed fee for their services. However, in contingent fee cases we have greater financial incentive since we have advanced the expenses in the case and our recovery is tied with your results, so it is important we put in the time and effort necessary to maximize your recovery.
The percentage charged in a contingent fee case depends, to a large extent, on the type of case. In motor vehicle accident litigation a contingent fee of one-third (1/3) of the recovery is common. Product liability cases, medical malpractice cases and other complex personal injury litigation are often charged at a higher percentage basis, because these types of claims usually consume more of our time and resources. It is not uncommon to advance many thousands of dollars in expenses, including expert witness fees, in the more complex personal injury litigation.
Most of our personal injury cases are handled on a contingent fee basis. Other fee arrangements can be made; however, once a client becomes aware of the expenses that they would have to pay, out of their own pocket, along with hourly attorneys fees almost all clients prefer to sign a contingent fee agreement. Regardless, it is important that you understand the way the contingent fee agreement works and its advantages and we would be happy to take the time to explain any questions you may have. We welcome your inquiries, so please feel free to contact us.