Contingency Fee Agreements — How Do They Work?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, or have been hurt on the job in New York, you’re probably not in the most financially comfortable position. Even if your medical insurance is covering your visits to doctors and rehabilitation specialists, the extra costs of living can pile up.
Your funds may be low, but the quality of your lawyer doesn't have to beGetting full compensation from the insurance company or negligent actor that caused your injuries often requires threatening legal action or filing a lawsuit. You may be wondering how you'll be able to afford an experienced, skilled attorney to represent you in court if you're barely making ends meet as it is. Fortunately, high-quality legal representation is still available to those who don't have much money through contingency fee agreements.
What is a contingency fee?When an attorney says that he or she works on contingency, that means that the attorney will not charge you a fee to represent you in a lawsuit unless you win that lawsuit. You won't have to pay any attorneys' fees if you lose your case, and will only pay an agreed-upon percentage of your winnings if your case is successful. Your attorney will likely also advance any costs and fees associated with your case, including the cost to file the case and the fees paid to any expert witnesses. In New York personal injury cases, lawyers will generally be entitled to a fee of 33% of the ultimate award paid to the plaintiff, plus costs and fees advanced by the lawyer.
Contingency fees result in quality representationIf you hire an attorney to work for you on contingency, you're guaranteeing that your lawyer is going to work hard to win that case. A successful outcome for you, the injured client, is the only way that your lawyer is compensated, providing a powerful motivator to conduct thorough investigations into the facts of your case and to advocate aggressively on your behalf before the court. It is through the use of contingency fees that the average individual can afford a high-caliber attorney with the experience and credentials needed to stand up to large corporations and insurers in court.