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What is a Contingency Fee?

On behalf of Brad Wicker of BDIW Law posted on Thursday September 16, 2021.

Some personal injury lawyers accept payment on a contingency basis, which is when you only pay your lawyer after the defendant pays you a settlement or after a court decides the case in your favor.

If you have seen commercials on TV for personal injury lawyers, you probably considered hiring one after an accident left you with serious injuries that prevented you from returning to your job. Once you started researching how much it costs to hire a lawyer, it probably scared you away. How can someone pay $100 per hour or more for all the hours it takes to conduct a personal injury lawsuit when they do not have an income? Those scary hourly rates are only part of the story. Corporate law attorneys and high net worth divorce lawyers can afford to ask people to pay them hundreds of dollars per hour from the beginning; personal injury lawyers cannot, or else no one would hire them. Many personal injury lawyers take payment on a contingency basis, which means that you do not pay them anything until you get some money from the defendant. Contact the Tulsa personal injury lawyers at BDIW Law to find out more about their payment options.

How Contingency Fees Work

If your lawyer accepts payment on contingency, it means that you pay after you get money from the defendant in the form of a settlement or judgment. Once you get the money, you pay your lawyer a percentage of it; you and your lawyer agree on the percentage before the lawyer starts working on your case. If the case is simple and you can probably get money just by your lawyer negotiating with your insurance company, the percentage you must pay at the end will be lower. The more work the case is for your lawyer, the higher the percentage will be.

Contingency Hourly Arrangements

In a contingency hourly arrangement, you pay the lawyer after the defendant pays you, but instead of a percentage, you pay based on the number of hours the lawyer worked. Therefore, the amount you pay is the same as the lawyer’s usual hourly rate times the number of hours worked, except you pay it all at the end of the case instead of paying as you go along.

Mixed Contingency Hourly Arrangements

In a mixed contingency hourly arrangement, you pay part of the lawyer’s hourly fee as you go and the rest at the end. If the lawyer charges $150 per hour, you might pay $30 per hour while your case is in process. If the case takes ten hours, you will have already paid $300, but you will need to pay the lawyer the other $1,200 when you get your settlement. This can be an attractive option if it is not a sure thing that you can win your case; it stops lawyers from turning away clients with high-risk cases.

Contact BDIW Law About Contingency Fees

A personal injury lawyer can help you even if you cannot afford to make any payments toward hourly fees right now. Contact BDIW Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma or call (918) 728-6500.