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What Is A Contingency Fee?

Personal Injury Lawyer Fees – Accidents & Lawsuits

In California, the most common type of personal injury lawyer fee is a contingency fee. It specifies that the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the money a client agrees to pay when their case settles, with no money paid upfront. The word “contingent” means that if, for any reason, there is no money recovered, the lawyer will receive nothing for the time spent representing you. 



Fee Structure & The Law

Section 6147 of the Business and Professions Code requires lawyer fee agreements to be in writing and that the fee is negotiable. The percentage an lawyer charges can vary depending on the law firm, types of injury, and the nature of the case. 

Why Have A Contingency Fee?

Contingency Fees Prioritize Injury Claims of Merit

Few personal injury lawyers are willing to risk their valuable time and their own money on cases that have little chance of success. Most injured people prefer to know in the beginning if their case has merit. If a lawyer won’t accept a case on a contingent fee basis, that’s a good indication that the case doesn’t have merit. It’s always a good idea, of course, to talk to other injury lawyers about your case.

It Allows Victims To Get Valuable Legal Help When They May Not Be Able To Afford It

An accident can eliminate a victim’s earning power and cause unforeseen expenses. Medical bills often exceed the victim’s own insurance benefits, and if they don’t have insurance, these bills can be overwhelming. Most injured people do not have money to pay an lawyer’s retainer and hourly fees in addition to other costs caused by the accident. However, insurance companies have vast resources and pay their lawyers generous hourly fees.


It Eliminates Financial Risk If You Lose Your Injury Case

Because the fee is contingent, the lawyer does not earn a fee until after money is collected from a settlement or verdict. If no money is collected, the lawyer doesn’t get paid and the client is not responsible for any fee to the lawyer. Make sure that this is clearly spelled out in a signed agreement with the lawyer.


Contingency Fees Encourage Results

The contingent fee provides the lawyer with the purest form of incentive to get results – the more money they obtain for you, the more they earn. It also provides an incentive to resolve the case as soon as possible. The incentive for insurance lawyers, who work on an hourly basis, is to maximize the number of hours they spend on a case.


Contingency Fees Allow You to Focus on Recovery

In terms of personal injury lawyer fees, a contingency fee is ideal for most clients. It promotes a healthy lawyer-client relationship due to its mutually beneficial nature. The client is assured their personal injury lawyer will be strongly motivated to get results. While their lawyer is fighting for them, they can focus on their recovery.


Our Lawyers Want To Help

The insurance industry is continually fighting to reduce, control or eliminate the contingency fee. They know that it is the only fee arrangement that allows an accident victim to obtain experienced lawyers to fight for their rights. Without a contingency fee, most people could not bear the financial burden and risk of obtaining legal help, and without formal legal advice, getting the best settlement is very challenging. 

California Personal Injury Lawyers

The Scranton Law Firm has been helping victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other injury accidents for over 40 years. Our company has been offering free legal consultations from day one, because we believe everyone should know exactly what they are getting into with a personal injury lawsuit. If you’ve been injured in an accident and want more information about how to handle your case, we are always here to listen and help.

Contact our California personal injury lawyers for a free case review.
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