What to Ask Before You Hire an Attorney: Does the Attorney Work on a Contingency Basis?

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What to Ask Before You Hire an Attorney: Does the Attorney Work on a Contingency Basis?

There are plenty of questions to ask when hiring the right attorney for your personal injury case. Knowing if an attorney works on a contingency basis can impact the compensation you receive for your injuries and damages. 

Not all attorneys work on a contingency basis. But more importantly, not all clients will benefit from hiring an attorney based on a contingency fee. 

Understanding how a contingency fee works and whether it’s the right choice for you is essential to getting the outcome of your legal case. 

How Does a Contingency Basis Work? 

Clients working with attorneys on a contingency basis only pay if they win their case. Personal injury lawyers using a contingency fee will establish a percentage of the compensation you’re awarded to determine how much they receive. 

If your personal injury case isn’t successful, then you pay nothing. This can be an ideal option for people with limited financial resources. It lets you hire an attorney without having to cover legal costs before you receive compensation. 

Some fees may still need to be covered by you if you lose your case, including deposition and court filing costs. Personal injury attorneys commonly use contingency fees, and they may also be applied in other areas of law.  

Questions to Ask About Contingency Fees 

Contingency fees are based on the compensation you receive instead of the hours that an attorney put into your case. 

If your case is settled quickly, your attorney may end up getting more than they would in an hourly billing arrangement. Cases that take longer to resolve can be costly when hourly billing is used.

It can be difficult to predict how much time will be required to settle your legal claim, and personal injury cases involve the gathering of evidence, expert and witness testimony, and other lengthy legal processes. 

So a contingency may be the best option for many personal injury cases. Contingency fees can also serve as an incentive for attorneys earning a percentage of the compensation you receive, ensuring they’ll do everything they can to get the outcome you want. 

Personal injury attorneys may be reluctant to take on a case that they don’t think will win. So depending on your circumstances, you may not be able to secure an attorney on a contingency basis. 

Is a Contingency Fee Basis Right for Your Case? 

If an attorney agrees to work with you on a contingency basis, they may be more confident that you’ll get the compensation you deserve, giving you peace of mind as you move forward with your case. 

Contingency fees save you any up-front costs, allowing you to get the legal help you need right away. You may be able to dictate the contingency fee by negotiating an agreement that works for you. 

Attorneys working on a contingency basis are more invested in the outcome of your case, and they might work harder knowing they won’t get paid unless you win. 

If you’re in the process of hiring an attorney, ask about the availability of contingency fee arrangements. This can give you the flexibility you need to get compensated for your injuries and restore your financial wellbeing for the future.