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What Is a Contingency Fee and How Does It Work?

Published on Aug 2, 2018 at 8:29 am in Legal Information.

Regardless of the type of lawsuit you’re filing, you may be worrying about how you’ll pay for reliable and knowledgeable legal representation. An attorney-client relationship should be built on trust. Financial hardship has the potential to get in the way of this if you feel you can’t afford the lawyer you want. That’s why contingency fees exist. They allow clients to obtain representation with no out of pocket money. Before you agree to a contingency fee, it’s important to understand how they work. The West Virginia personal injury lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC want you to have all the information you need.

Understanding Contingency Fees

A contingency fee is a type of payment your attorney receives only when you receive the compensation you’re seeking. This can happen if your case settles or if your case goes to trial and you win. Essentially, their payment is “contingent upon” your receiving some sort of settlement.

Prior to officially working together, you and your attorney will agree upon a percentage they will receive if everything goes as planned. While this percentage varies, it will typically be around 33 percent. Factors that may change this percentage are the complexity of your case and any possible risks.

If your case is deemed to be complex or risky, the contingency fee may be higher – possibly around 35 to 40 percent. This works both ways, so if your case is extremely likely to end in recovery the fee may be less than 33 percent.

While the idea of a contingency fee is intriguing, it’s important to recognize there may be some disadvantages. Depending on your case, the contingency fee may end up being higher than if you would have paid your attorney an hourly rate. There’s also a chance that an attorney may choose to not take you on if your case seems to have a lower likelihood of recovery.

Sometimes, an attorney may want to modify the traditional contingency fee. Contingency hourly and mixed hourly-contingent are possible.

Similar to the traditional contingency free, in a contingency hourly arrangement, you will not need to pay your attorney unless and until a recovery is made. Instead of a percentage, your lawyer will keep track of their hours and charge you for those when you receive your compensation.

With a mix hourly-contingent agreement, you pay for part of your attorney’s hourly rate before you settle your case. If you win, they will receive the rest of their hourly rate. If you do not win, they keep what you’ve already paid them, but that’s it. There’s also a chance a small percentage may be taken from your recovery, in addition to the hourly pay.

Contingency Fees with DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC

Here at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping you win your case. We understand how difficult it can be to support your family when you’re out of work or recovering from an accident. Because of this, we work on a contingency fee basis. We only get compensated if we help you win your case. Typically, our contingency fee is 1/3 of what is recovered. If you have questions about contingency fees or a possible case, contact our firm today.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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