Every lawyer we recommend will charge a contingency fee to handle your case, whether it’s a car accident, medical malpractice, workers’ compensation or any other injury case. A contingency fee is a fee that is paid only if your case is successful. In other words, if you end up being compensated for your injury -- by either winning at trial or agreeing to a settlement – your lawyer gets a percentage. If you lose, you pay nothing.
Most personal injury lawyers charge a fee of 1/3. So if a jury awards you $600,000 for a serious back injury, your lawyer will get $200,000. In work injury cases, each state sets a limit on what lawyers can charge. For medical malpractice cases, some states tell attorneys what they can charge and others let the lawyer and client decide.
A contingency-fee arrangement balances the interests of both the client and the lawyer.
For the client, a contingency fee may be the only way they can afford a lawyer; if they lose, they don’t have to pay. Another benefit to the client is that a contingency fee motivates the lawyer to work hard and win their case. The more that they recover for you, the more they get for themselves.
Although no lawyer we recommend gets paid unless they win, you should always discuss a fee arrangement with your attorney at the start of your case, and it’s best to get the final agreement in writing.