Were you injured due to the fault of another person, and you've decided to work with a lawyer to get the compensation you deserve? If so, it is likely that your lawyer is offering to work for you based on a contingency fee. Here are a few key things to know about what a contingency fee means when working with a lawyer.
You Only Pay Legal Fees If You Win Your Case
A contingency fee means that a lawyer is only going to have you pay them for their legal services if they end up winning your case. However, this also means that it could be difficult to find a lawyer to work for you on a contingency fee basis unless they feel like you have a really strong case that they know they can win. If your case is not strong and you still want to use a lawyer, chances are that the lawyer will request that you pay them their hourly rate for their services.
You Pay Less If the Case Settles Out Of Court
Contingency fees vary based on how much work the lawyer puts into the case, and are typically based on a percentage of the settlement amount. If the lawyer is able to settle the case in mediation and not take it to trial, then it is common for the contingency fee to be a low percentage of the settlement. If the case does end up going to trial, more work is involved by the lawyer and the contingency fee is a higher percentage.
You Can Negotiate The Contingency Fee
Know that everything is negotiable when it comes to working with a lawyer. If you feel like the contingency fee is too high then you may want to ask for the fee to be a lower percentage of the settlement. If you have a clear case that you will win in court, a lawyer may want to take a lower percentage because of the work they know is involved with working on your case.
You May Still Owe Court Costs
While your lawyer's fees are often waived if they do not win your case, it is worth asking about who is responsible for the other fees related to a lawsuit if you do not win. Some lawyers will not charge you a penny for court fees and other costs associated with a lawsuit, while others may simply waive the legal fees that they would normally charge if they lose.
Reach out to an accident lawyer near you to learn more.