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Why Contingent Fees Matter for Your Personal Injury Claim

Written by Tom Crosley
Jul 11, 2017 Catastrophic Personal Injury, Personal Injury
  1. 1. What Is a Contingent Fee Arrangement?
  2. 2. Why Are Contingent Fee Arrangements Important?
  3. 3. Contingent Fees: Aligning Attorney Goals and Client Needs
  4. 4. Crosley Law Firm — San Antonio Personal Injury Attorneys

Life after a serious injury can be overwhelming. Whether it’s adjusting to your new lifestyle and limitations, attending numerous follow-up appointments, or figuring out how to financially recover, life for you and your loved ones can seem chaotic and frustrating, with no end in sight. 

After an injury due to someone else’s negligence, many families struggle financially due to medical bills, loss of income, and other adjustments (such as moving to accommodate a permanent physical injury or creating a care schedule). To get back on their feet financially, injured victims may need to file a personal injury claim. Doing so, however, requires a lot of time, money, and knowledge of the law — resources the average person does not have.

Hiring an attorney is something many victims are hesitant to do. Sometimes they think they can handle things themselves; other times, they believe working with an attorney will be too expensive or won’t be worth the fees.

The truth, though, is that working with an attorney doesn’t have to create any additional burden on your finances. An experienced attorney can help you deal with the insurance company and navigate the complicated legal process surrounding a personal injury, and they can do so without any risk that you’ll end up paying attorney’s fees without getting any financial restitution from a settlement or verdict.

You may ask: How is this possible? The answer is a special type of fee arrangement called a contingent fee.

What Is a Contingent Fee Arrangement?

To make sure that injured victims at all income levels have access to quality legal representation, attorneys in the field of personal injury generally work on a contingent fee basis. A contingent fee arrangement means that a client does not pay their lawyer unless the lawyer is able to achieve a financial recovery for the client through a settlement or victory in court. Sometimes, attorneys will advertise a contingent fee arrangement with statements like “you don’t pay unless we win” or other similar language.

Why Are Contingent Fee Arrangements Important?

Contingent fee arrangements are particularly important for personal injury claims. Successfully litigating a personal injury case requires investing thousands of dollars in time, labor, and expenses, and it involves a certain amount of risk on the part of the attorney.

Financial Risk

There are two types of financial risk for the attorney when it comes to personal injury claims. The first is the risk that the attorney will not receive compensation for their work because he or she can’t achieve a financial recovery for the client. Personal injury firms spend large amounts of time on each case and its many phases — from the initial consultation and depositions to negotiations and perhaps a court trial — and not being paid for this time is very costly for the attorney.

The second financial risk involves the out-of-pocket expenses, also referred to as disbursements, that are required to file a lawsuit and see it through to a resolution. In a contingent fee arrangement, the attorney pays these up-front costs on behalf of the client. Disbursements could include the costs associated with filing the lawsuit, scheduling the depositions, hiring outside experts, etc. The expenses associated with a personal injury case can mount up quickly, and paying these costs on behalf of clients often requires a law firm to tie up a lot of money.

Attorney Access

Unfortunately, the U.S. judicial system is not perfect. It’s complicated and expensive, and it can even be unfair. Courts often side with powerful defendants like insurance companies and corporations, who have plenty of time and money to fight any accusation and can easily pay for expert witnesses and other costs associated with a lawsuit. This often leaves the injured plaintiffs vulnerable because they lack those same resources.

Contingent fee arrangements help protect injured victims from well-funded defendants. The contingent fee structure allows individuals to retain capable, knowledgeable, and experienced legal representation without any up-front cost and at minimal financial risk to them. Even if you lack the resources and the knowledge of nuances within the law required to handle your own personal injury claim, an attorney working on a contingent-fee basis can help you navigate the complicated legal landscape and explore every possible avenue for compensation, which will usually lead to a significantly larger recovery than you could achieve on your own.

Contingent Fees: Aligning Attorney Goals and Client Needs

Overall, contingent fee arrangements align the goals of the attorney and needs of the client. The client benefits from the professional experience an attorney brings to the table and gets to operate on a level playing field against well-funded defendants. For personal injury attorneys to achieve their goals of helping clients put their lives back together, attorneys can evaluate the possible financial risks against the potential rewards involved with each case and decide the best path forward for the client.

After experiencing a life-altering injury, it can be overwhelming to think of everything you need to do to get compensation from the negligent party for your medical bills, lost wages, and suffering. It helps to have knowledgeable and experienced counsel advocating for you so you can focus on your recovery and get the most out of a personal injury claim. When choosing a personal injury attorney, though, make sure you completely understand the nature of their fee arrangement and don’t be afraid to ask any questions that come to mind. The more information you gather, the less likely you are to encounter unexpected costs and surprises.

Crosley Law Firm — San Antonio Personal Injury Attorneys

The attorneys at Crosley Law Firm know how important your case is to your well-being and your recovery, which is why it’s just as important to us. We treat every case, no matter how large or small, as if it is our only case. Through fierce advocacy, thorough research, and strategies founded in experience and success, we fight for our clients every step of the way.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, call us at 210-LAW-3000 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We offer free consultations, and we always handle personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis, so there’s no risk to contacting us and speaking with an attorney today.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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