Any victim of negligence can afford an attorney through a contingency fee agreement. Before seeking out a personal injury lawyer, many accident victims have concerns and questions about how they are going to pay for a lawyer. Ads on TV can be confusing and misleading. Generally, lawyers charge for their representation in two main ways: contingency fee basis or an hourly fee.
Contingency fee– With a contingency fee agreement, you only pay the lawyer if he or she recovers money on your behalf. The amount that that your lawyer is paid from the final verdict or settlement is based upon the contingency fee agreement. Under a contingency agreement, the client will also be responsible for certain out-of-pocket expenses connected to the litigation. These can include, but are not limited to, fees from medical bills, reports from doctors, and any filing or court fees. The contingency fee agreement needs to be signed by the client.
One of the main advantages of the contingency fee agreement is that as the victim, you will not pay anything if your lawyer does not obtain a judgment or settlement in your favor. Additionally, because your lawyer only gets paid if he is successful with your case, there is incentive for your attorney to do his best and most diligent work.
Hourly fee- With hourly billing, you pay your attorney an hourly rate based on the amount of time that he or she works on your case. This amount is billed regardless of the outcome of the case. The hourly rate is determined in advance in an agreement between you and your lawyer and is confirmed in writing signed by the client.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.