You may face unexpected financial challenges when you suffer an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. It is normal to feel overwhelmed, and you may believe that an attorney is out of reach when you have trouble covering medical expenses and other extra costs.
Fortunately, many personal injury attorneys offer legal services on a contingency-fee basis, which means you pay nothing upfront for legal representation. Instead, contingency lawyers retain a portion of your final settlement or verdict as payment for their legal assistance.
What Is a Contingency Fee-Based Attorney?
Contingency fee attorneys contract with clients to handle their legal representation without a retainer. Instead of paying an hourly rate, the client signs a contingency fee agreement in which they agree to pay a percentage of their settlement to the attorney.
The percentage an attorney retains from the settlement or verdict award varies depending on the type of case and its complexity. If your claim is particularly complicated, the attorney may offer a partial contingency arrangement tailored to your case.
Do Lawyers Get Paid If They Lose?
A contingency fee arrangement means that payment for the attorney is contingent upon winning the case. If they do not win the case, they do not receive payment for their legal representation.
7 Steps for Choosing the Right Contingency Attorney
Not all lawyers offer contingency agreements. Typically, personal injury lawyers who handle cases such as car accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall injuries, and wrongful death will take cases for a contingency fee. Business litigation attorneys may also accept cases on contingency based on the value and strength of your claim. Follow these seven steps to select the right attorney for your needs.
Research and Gather Information on Attorneys in Your Area
Choosing a local personal injury attorney is crucial. A lawyer in your area will be familiar with state and local laws that can impact your case. In addition, they will have experience working with local authorities, attorneys, and judges, as well as knowledge of local and state resources to support your case.
Check Credentials, Experience, and Reputation
Most contingency lawyers have a website outlining their areas of expertise, credentials, and client testimonials. Expertise is crucial for successful litigation. For example, an attorney who specializes in tax law will not necessarily have the knowledge necessary to handle your complex business litigation.
Review law firm websites for information about prior cases they handled and any awards or accolades they have received. Pay special attention to case results and client testimonials to determine whether the attorney has experience winning cases like yours.
To ensure the attorney is licensed appropriately, you can check their registration with your local bar association.
Look for Online Reviews and Testimonials
The attorney’s website should not be your only source of information. Do not hesitate to trawl attorney review websites for client reviews and testimonials. The lawyer’s website will likely show only positive reviews, so an internet search can help you find honest reviews that provide a more balanced picture.
Schedule Initial Consultations
A lawyer working on contingency will typically offer a free initial consultation. Take the time to sit down with several attorneys to discuss your case. During a consultation, the attorney will review the details of your case and determine whether you have sufficient grounds to pursue a claim. You can take this opportunity to ask questions about your legal rights and the claim process.
Assess How the Attorneys Communicate
Communication is a critical aspect of your attorney-client relationship. Look for a lawyer who communicates in a way that makes you comfortable. Do you need a lawyer who updates you regularly, or do you only want communication when something changes with your case?
Consider whether the lawyer is open and transparent when discussing complex legal topics. A quality attorney will explain legal jargon and ensure you understand legal processes and procedures so you do not have to guess about the status of your case.
Evaluate the Attorney Firm’s Resources
While you may be talking with one specific attorney, consider the larger picture the firm presents. Look for a well-established law firm with multiple experienced attorneys on staff. In a collaborative environment, attorneys share knowledge and resources to contribute to everyone’s success.
Review their website to see whether the firm participates in local events or contributes to scholarships and charities. Attorneys who foster close ties to their community are also likely to have access to resources and knowledge within that community.
Discuss Contingency Fees
A contingency lawyer will handle the legal footwork for your case at no upfront cost. Most contingency arrangements allow the attorney to retain an agreed percentage of your final settlement or award.
Lawyers who take on difficult cases may offer a hybrid option in which the client pays a reduced hourly rate or a retainer to cover out-of-pocket expenses. The lawyer agrees to take the rest of their payment on a contingency basis.
Partner With Experienced Contingency Lawyers for Legal Services
If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to someone else’s careless actions, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. Dunn Sheehan maintains a staff of skilled attorneys for lawsuits ranging from car and truck accidents to product liability and complex business litigation. Our case results show a track record of success, with millions recovered on behalf of our clients.
At Dunn Sheehan, we are pleased to offer big firm resources with trial firm attention. When you work with our legal team, you can expect personalized, attentive representation tailored to your specific needs. We understand the financial challenges you face after an unforeseen injury or loss.
Contact Dunn Sheehan today for a free consultation to discuss your contingency fee options.