When you hire a lawyer, it’s important to understand upfront how they charge for their services. While some types of attorneys charge a flat rate or hourly fee, injury attorneys typically work on contingency. The guide below explains how this fee structure affects you as the client.
What Is a Contingency Agreement?
Working on contingency means the lawyer will receive a percentage of your claim settlement. If your case goes to civil court, the fee will be based on the jury award you receive. This plan is beneficial to clients because it ensures they won’t have to pay unless they win their claim. The injuries accident victims sustain represent a significant cost in terms of medical care, missed wages, and other damages, so a contingency basis prevents legal fees from adding to that financial burden.
Additionally, the contingency structure ensures the lawyer will work hard to win their client’s case. This payment plan creates a partnership between the client and attorney that encourages the legal team to do their best work. If the lawsuit fails and doesn’t result in a settlement, the firm will lose money. That incentive ensures each client gets the highest quality service.
What Should Clients Know Before Signing a Contract?
While the contingency system can save you from paying upfront for representation, there are some disadvantages. Lawyers will be more selective in the personal injury cases they take on because they will be looking for sure wins. If you don’t have a strong case, it may be more difficult to find representation. However, a lawyer who agrees to work for you is more likely to have a clear vision of how to frame your argument and work towards a successful outcome.
You may also have to pay additional expenses. Some law firms may not include clerical costs, such as the cost of filing court documents, in the fee. These expenses are relatively minor, but the lawyer will expect you to pay them.
Finally, you will need to account for the legal fees in filing your tax returns. The IRS assumes you receive the full settlement amount and pay for service later, which can affect how much you’ll owe at the end of the year.
If you are injured in an accident or as the result of medical malpractice or a defective product, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you obtain a fair settlement. Bellotti Law Group, P.C. of Boston, MA, has been helping accident victims obtain compensation for more than 30 years. Their skills and experience will help you recover from your accident. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit them online, or call (617) 778-1000.