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A contingency fee is a form of payment for a lawyer’s services. The attorney typically receives an agreed-upon percentage of their client’s compensation when her or she wins or settles the case. This means you have little to no upfront expenses with contingency fees and do not pay a fixed hourly fee that is commonly seen in civil cases, like personal injury litigation.
To confirm the use of contingency fee payments, you and a lawyer will establish a contingency fee agreement. This agreement is a written contract that states how the fee will be paid and the expenses that you are liable for, along with other mandates. Most states, like West Virginia, have prohibited contingency fee agreements for domestic relations matters and criminal cases.
Otherwise, contingency fee agreements are not always a given. Depending on the case, a lawyer may not accept the arrangement based on factors like complexity, risk, litigation costs, and more.
The general purpose of a contingency fee agreement is to give you a level of protection and security to make clear decisions without taking high levels of risk, such as legal fees. The idea is for you to feel less pressured about litigation costs, which may be the barrier between filing a lawsuit or not taking any action whatsoever.
Contingency fee agreements also protect those who may not otherwise pursue litigation based on their current financial circumstances. Likewise, many believe that this agreement acts as an incentive and motivation for a lawyer to help his or her client win the best possible outcome.
On the other hand, many individuals in the legal industry fear that contingency fee agreements allow clients to file too many frivolous lawsuits and may give a lawyer an ulterior motive to settle a case too soon or for too little compensation.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is experienced in personal injury cases and can help you achieve a positive case outcome. If you are interested in learning more about contingency fee agreements or our services, contact us today to see if a contingency fee agreement will work for you.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law