Lawyer Contingency Fee

Lawyer Contingency Fee: The Term’s Meaning and How it Works

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“Contingency fee” is a term you may come across repeatedly if you have been involved in a personal injury accident in Los Angeles and are looking for a lawyer to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Simply put, a contingency fee is a form of payment where a lawyer gets compensated only if the lawyer wins their client's case.Below, our team at Forward Law Group provides a more in-depth definition of the term and provides a closer look at how contingency fees work. 

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is a type of fee or payment method that is common in legal practice, especially in regard to personal injury cases. According to the State Bar of California, with contingency fees “you will pay the lawyer a certain percentage of the money you receive if you win the case or settle the matter out of court.” In other words, the lawyer or attorney does not receive any compensation if you lose your case. 

Contingency fees are different from retainer fees, for example, which can be thought of as a set amount paid to a lawyer which is deducted as fees accrue throughout a case. Retainer fees are also common when a lawyer is working on an on-call basis over a set period of time. Be sure to ask for specific details about what retainer fees entail when signing an agreement with a lawyer. Compared to retainer fees, contingency fees are more appealing to clients or potential clients because they are not required to make an upfront, lump sum, payment.

What are Lawyer Fee Arrangements Based On?

It is important to note that it is common for lawyers to have different fee arrangements for different services or the type of case that a client is to get help with. Contingency fees are most common for injury cases, including personal injury cases such as vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall cases, and rideshare accidents, among others. On the other hand, however, in California, contingent fee agreements are not allowed for representing a defendant in a criminal case.

Tips and Other Things To Know About Contingency Fees

There are a few other details related to contingency fees that the Forward Law Group team suggests keeping in mind:

  • Even in a contingency fee arrangement, you may be required to pay the court fees regardless of whether you win or lose the case. We suggest asking your lawyer for an estimate of these fees in the beginning so you have a better understanding. 
  • Your lawyer should be clear in communicating the contingency fee percentage that they will get if you win the case. The lawyer's percentage should be written in an agreement signed by both you and the lawyer.
  • There may be other fees associated with your case, such as expenses for third-party investigations. Make sure you discuss additional fees thoroughly with your lawyer. 

Wrapping Up

At Forward Law Group in Los Angeles, we want to have the knowledge they need when working with a lawyer. If you are looking for a contingency fee arrangement for a personal injury case, our experienced lawyers are here to help. Helping our clients achieve a desirable outcome is our number one priority. Contact us today at (818) 471-8389 for more information.