The Ins and Outs of a Standard Contingency Fee Agreement
The Ins and Outs of a Standard Contingency Fee Agreement
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The Ins and Outs of a Standard Contingency Fee Agreement

Injured victims and businesses deserve the best possible representation, regardless of their economic circumstances. Many injured people and businesses hesitate to talk with an attorney because they assume the costs will be too high. 

A compassionate lawyer knows that you are already dealing with financial pressures and wants to help you win your case. A standard contingency fee agreement helps you pursue the compensation you deserve without the financial risk or costs of an attorney's hourly rates.

A reputable personal injury attorney will offer and explain their standard contingency fee structure and how it works for you. A typical contingency fee arrangement means you will owe nothing unless and until your attorney wins compensation for you. You can pursue what you are owed while your attorney pays the upfront costs. 

What Is a Contingency Fee Agreement?

A contingency fee agreement is a legal contract between the client and their contingency fee attorney. The contract stipulates that the personal injury lawyer will represent the client on a contingency fee basis rather than an hourly rate basis. It then sets forth the contingency fee percentage the attorney is owed from any compensation they win in the case.

A contingency fee is only paid if and when the attorney wins compensation in your personal injury claim. The attorney fronts all of the costs of the litigation, but you agree to pay a particular percentage of those winnings to the attorney out of your financial award. If the attorney fails to win you compensation, you do not owe anything under a standard contingency fee agreement. 

When Is a Contingency Fee Agreement Used?

A contingency fee agreement is used in several different situations. The most common reason clients choose a contingency fee agreement is to prevent financial risk. As an injured victim, you may not have the resources to pay for a powerful legal team out of your own pocket. In fact, your regular finances are likely tight because of medical bills, property damages, lost work, and much more that have altered your life post-injury. 

With a contingency fee agreement, the financial risk is all on the attorney. The attorney agrees to take your case and not charge their hourly rate in exchange for a portion of the total settlement or jury verdict you win. This eliminates your risk because you pay nothing if the attorney is unsuccessful. 

Contingency fee agreements are common in personal injury cases. These include:

Advantages of Contingency Fee Arrangements

There are several advantages to using a contingency fee agreement for your case. First and foremost, you only pay if you win financial compensation. This eliminates the risk of paying an attorney and still losing in the end. It reduces or eliminates your financial burden, ensuring you can still pursue compensation regardless of your economic circumstances. 

It also incentivizes your attorney to work as hard as possible to win you a significant settlement or verdict. The attorney only gets paid if they win. The more they win, the higher both of your earnings will be.

Elements of a Standard Contingency Fee Agreement

Most standard contingency fee agreements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Contingency fee percentages: The agreement should outline what percentage of the total winnings the attorney is owed after successful litigation. 
  • Legal costs: A standard contingency fee agreement covers most legal costs like filing fees, upfront costs, travel expenses, etc. 
  • Exclusive representation: The agreement may require the client only to hire this attorney and not split winnings with another attorney without the lawyer's consent.
  • Identification of firm and client: The fee agreement should adequately identify the lawyer, law firm, and client information in the contract.
  • Scope of representation: The contingency fee agreement should address what legal services are offered.
  • Signatures: Both parties should sign the agreement.

How To Navigate the Process With Your Contingency Fee Lawyer

Navigating this process can initially seem overwhelming, but asking the right questions makes it easier.

Dunn Sheehan's Standard Fee Structure

At Dunn Sheehan, we offer contingency fee structures in certain cases. Our attorneys receive a fixed percentage of the recoveries in contingency fee cases, and you pay nothing unless we win your case. 

Hire a personal injury lawyer dedicated to winning compensation for you. Our contingency fee attorneys are ready to work hard and diligently represent you throughout your case. Contact us today for a consultation.

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