What is a Contingency Fee?

Many people have heard about contingency fees, but are not exactly sure what these fees include. In short, contingency fees mean that a person is not required to pay expenses up front. Instead, the person’s attorney receives a percentage of compensation when the case is resolved. If a person does not win the case, the attorney does not receive compensation for the case. A large number of attorneys work on contingency fees without any guarantee of being paid. By arranging a contingency fee basis of payment with an attorney, individuals are often able to obtain legal assistance that would be unavailable if they were required to pay up front.

Why Attorneys Use Contingency Fees

There are some particular reasons why attorneys decide to use contingency fees. These types of arrangements allow attorneys to assist clients who would otherwise not be able to pay the expenses required for an attorney. Because contingency fee arrangements allow individuals to hold more people accountable, it is more common for large corporations to promote the elimination of these contingency arrangements.

The Advantages of Contingency Fees

Some of the distinct advantages of contingency fee arrangements include:

  • Better Attorney Client Relationships: Because lawyers are only paid if a lawsuit is successful, lawyers are inclined to work harder on these types of cases and reach conclusions more quickly.
  • Contingency Fee Arrangements Demonstrate that an Attorney has Confidence in a Case: Because attorneys are only paid in contingency arrangements when a case is successful, lawyers are only likely to accept cases that they believe are likely to reach a positive outcome.
  • Less Risk for a Client: Clients who pay large legal bills are at greater risk of not having successful outcome in their case. Contingency fee arrangements, however, greatly reduce the risk of individuals being financially damaged by pursuing a lawsuit.
  • These Arrangements Allow Individuals to More Easily Pursue Cases Against Wealthy Defendants: Insurance companies and large corporations have the advantage of large amounts of money, but contingency arrangements help to give injured individuals a greater opportunity to prevail against these parties.

The Disadvantages of Contingency Fee Arrangements

The main obstacle presented by contingency fee arrangements is that these arrangements could cost individuals more than standard hourly rates if a case resolves quickly. Particularly in situations in which a person has a risky case, a lawyer is likely to negotiate a higher fee. Additionally, there are some laws that place damage caps on contingency fees.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Attorney

The most common situation in which lawyers work on a contingency fee basis are personal injury cases. In recent years, many laws in the country have been created prohibiting contingency arrangements in civil cases. The exact amount of a contingency fee depends on a variety of factors including the complexity of issues involved in the case, the amount of compensation involved, and whether the case proceeds to trial. If you or a loved one do not have the money to pay for a lawsuit, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney at Federal Criminal Law Center to discuss a potential contingency arrangement.