A contingency fee, or a contingent fee, is a fee paid for legal services to an attorney if your case is won for services provided by your counsel. Typically, it is a calculated percentage of the total monetary value of your case winnings.
This sort of arrangement is generally seen as a beneficial way for lower-income individuals to gain access to the justice system since they’re not required to pay anything out of pocket at the start of their case.
Contingency fees are fairly common in personal injury cases. It’s also important for people looking for a contingency fee lawyer that there could be instances where they will owe the lawyer money even if the lawyer doesn’t win. These costs are generally associated with copies and other administrative-type tasks that were performed (such as registered or certified mail) during the course of the case.
For example, if a person were involved in an auto accident that resulted in $40,000 in damages and medical expenses, they would look for a personal injury attorney who worked on a contingency fee basis. If the lawyer won or successfully settled the case, the lawyer would get a percentage of the settlement or award.
The amount would be based on state statute that determines how much lawyers are allowed to keep. If the state statute stated that contingency fee lawyers received 30%, then the total contingent fee to be paid would total $12,000.