Contingency Fees and Personal Injury

What is a Contingency Fee and How Does it Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

If you’ve started looking into legal representation after a personal injury, you have likely come across the term “contingency fee.” Assuming you haven’t ever pursued a personal injury claim before, this term may be completely new to you. Learn more about what it means and how it may affect your case—and when you’re ready to move forward with your claim, call Olmstead & Olmstead at 703-361-1555 to set up a consultation with our team of Manassas personal injury attorneys.

Different Fee Structures for Attorneys

Attorneys may use a variety of fee structures when accepting clients. Hourly fees are somewhat common; clients may be billed on a monthly basis for the hours spent on their case. For certain legal issues, particularly those that are considered straightforward, a flat fee structure offers one price for all of the work required for a case. Attorneys may charge a retainer when a client wants to secure their services. After the retainer is spent, based on the attorney’s hourly fee, ongoing work is billed monthly.

Finally, there’s the contingency fee structure. This is, by far, the most common option for personal injury claims. The client pays nothing upfront, and in fact, they only pay if the attorney recovers compensation for them via a settlement or court award.

How a Contingency Fee Benefits Clients

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a contingency fee is the fact that it takes all of the risk off of the client, shifting it instead to the attorney. The cost of legal representation is what stops many people from ever reaching out to a lawyer. A contingency fee alleviates that concern and ensures that clients aren’t left in financial distress if their case is unsuccessful.

The fact that the attorney absorbs the risk is also beneficial for the client. The attorney is only paid if they are able to get the client compensation—this encourages them to build the strongest case possible and fight for everything their client deserves because the amount they receive is directly related to their client’s compensation.

When and How is a Contingency Fee Paid?

Before you officially retain a personal injury lawyer in Manassas, they will outline their fee structure in a contract. This contract will outline what percentage of your compensation they ultimately receive and any other fees that must be paid. Some attorneys also require that clients pay filing fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses that come up in a personal injury claim. In most cases, the attorney’s fee is taken out of the personal injury settlement before the client even sees the check.

Things to Discuss with Your Personal Injury Lawyer

When you consult with a personal injury lawyer, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the representation you deserve. You should be comfortable talking to your lawyer, bringing up concerns to them, and reaching out for help if there are hiccups in your case. That’s what your free consultation is for—your attorney gets the chance to figure out if you have a viable case and you have the opportunity to make sure that the lawyer is a good fit for your needs.

First, if you have questions about the contingency fee, this is the time to ask them. You may want to ask how their contingency fee compares to other attorneys in the area and what it includes. Will you have to pay additional expenses? If your case is unsuccessful, will you still be responsible for those expenses?

You can also ask who will actually be handling your case. At some firms, you meet with a senior attorney, but a new lawyer or paralegal handles the majority of the work associated with your case. It’s important to know who you’ll actually speak to when you have questions.

You may also wish to ask about the strength of your case and what kind of timeline they anticipate. This can help you know what to expect.

Reach Out to Olmstead & Olmstead to Start Your Personal Injury Claim

Ready to get started on your personal injury claim? The team at Olmstead & Olmstead is here to assist you in your fight for justice. Get started with a free consultation—just call us at 703-361-1555 or contact us online.

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