Paying a Lawyer, What Types of Attorneys Work on Contingency Payment?

Everyone knows that attorney fees are high, often exceeding $200 per hour. Multiply that by the many hours involved in even minor legal procedures, and the legal costs can add up quickly.

The cost of filing and pursuing a lawsuit can be well beyond what most people can pay. There’s a solution to this problem, however. Some attorneys work on contingency payment.

In this low-cost legal website article, we will discuss what types of attorneys work on contingency and how these payments are usually set up.

What a Contingency Payment Agreement for an Attorney Means

When you hire a lawyer on contingency, it means that you don’t have to pay anything up front. They keep track of the number of hours they put into the case and other expenses involved such as hiring expert witnesses, paying court filing fees, paying their legal secretaries, etc. But if they’re working on contingency, they only get paid if you receive a settlement or judgment in your lawsuit. That’s low-cost legal help, at least up front.

The contingency payment arrangement must be agreed to before you hire the attorney. They will only work on contingency if you are pursuing damages from an individual, organization or a corporation. They will agree to take as their payment a percentage of the settlement or judgment plus their legal fees. In most cases, the percentage is 1/3. For example, let’s say you receive a $1.2 million settlement in a lawsuit brought against a negligent driver that hit you while you were riding your bike. The contingency attorney would be entitled to $400,000 as their 1/3 of the settlement. If their fees were $100,000, you would add that to the percentage and give them a total of $500,000 while keeping $500,000 yourself.

If no settlement is reached and the lawsuit is lost, a contingency attorney receives no payment at all.  For this reason, most will only take cases that they believe they can settle out of court or win in court.

Attorneys that Work on Contingency Payments

Personal injury attorneys work on contingency fees most of the times. There are several types of personal injury lawyers. These include medical malpractice attorneys, lawyers that specialize in motor vehicle accidents and lawyers with expertise in cases involving wrongful death, physical or sexual abuse, bullying or harassment, wrongful termination, workplace issues, product liability and class action lawsuits.

Finding a Lawyer to Work on Contingency

Most personal injury lawyers will provide you with a free case evaluation. This might be done over the phone or in person. If they think you might have a case, they will want to see documentation supporting the facts, such as medical records, work files, emails, police reports, etc. As you’re discussing the case, ask about their fees and how they get paid. They’ll let you know if contingency payment is a possibility. For most lawyers dealing with any type of personal injury or vehicle accident lawsuits, working on contingency is how they handle most of their cases.