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Personal Injury 101: Contingency fee

Personal Injury 101: Contingency fee

Being injured in an accident can be a traumatic and stressful burden on our already busy lives.  The last thing you want to think about while healing is what it will cost to secure capable legal representation and recover appropriate compensation.  The answer, surprisingly, is nothing, unless you make a monetary recovery!  The reason is that personal injury attorneys will generally represent you under a “contingency fee” agreement.

What is it?

A contingency fee agreement is one where you do not pay attorney fees unless your attorney obtains a settlement or judgment on your behalf.  Whether your attorney gets paid, therefore, is contingent on whether they are successful in obtaining compensation for your claim.  The amount your attorney receives is a reasonable, agreed upon percentage of the recovery they secure for you.  The exact percentage will be outlined in the agreement you sign when you decide to have the attorney represent you for your personal injury claim.

What are the advantages?

1. You can receive zealous, competent legal representation without having to pay any money up front.

2. You can be reasonably sure that your claim has merit because an attorney accepting cases on contingency is not going to want to spend time on a case that they do not believe they can win.

3. The risks of pursuing your claim are borne by your attorney.  The attorney will invest their time in representing you with no guarantee that they will ever be paid for the work.  The attorney will also pay for case costs such as expert witnesses, medical records, and other expenses up front and only recover those costs if you receive compensation for your injuries.

Are there any disadvantages?

In the vast majority of personal injury cases, no.  The alternative to contingency fee arrangements is hourly attorney fees, billed in 15-minute increments at a rate of hundreds of dollars per hour, or retainer agreements that can require thousands of dollars before the attorney writes a letter or even picks up the phone on your behalf.  Litigation is an extremely expensive endeavor and contingency fee agreements assure everyone, regardless of financial status, access to competent representation throughout the process.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, do not let financial concerns stand in the way of receiving quality representation.  Instead, please call our office at 651-493-0426 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.

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