One of the most significant deterrents when considering hiring an attorney is the belief that the legal services are unaffordable. If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, such as a motor vehicle accident, you may face astronomical medical and property expenses. Contingency fee agreements allow victims to hire a personal injury attorney who only receives compensation if they obtain compensation for the victim. If you were injured due to someone else's negligence, you can afford a personal injury attorney when you use a contingency fee agreement. If you are interested in learning more about this type of fee arrangement, consider contacting the experienced personal injury attorneys at Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548 today.
Common Ways Lawyers Charge for Their Services
Lawyers can bill for their services in various ways, such as:
According to the American Bar Association, the most common way that lawyers bill is by the hour. The client pays upfront or is billed for the actual number of hours the lawyer worked on the case, which is multiplied by the lawyer's hourly rate. Several factors can affect a lawyer's hourly rate, such as:
- The geographic region
- The lawyer's experience
- The complexity of the case and the legal issues involved
- The amount of time the lawyer will likely have to put into a case
- If taking a case will prevent the lawyer from taking other cases
- The time limit involved in the case
Additionally, lawyers may charge one rate for their research or completing legal documents and another for time spent in the courtroom.
A flat fee is a specific fee that the lawyer charges for the work completed, regardless of how many hours they spent on the case. Flat fee arrangements are more common when the case is straightforward, predictable, and routine. The lawyer can accurately estimate how much time they will have to devote to a particular type of case and can quote this amount to the client.
Flat fee agreements are more common in business cases, such as creating contracts. They may also be used in estate planning and uncontested family law matters. A flat fee agreement will usually stipulate that the lawyer is entitled to the fee even if the case took less time than expected.
Contingency fees are paid to a lawyer if a lawyer successfully recovers compensation for a client. These arrangements are more common in personal injury cases and workers' compensation cases.
In a contingency fee arrangement, a lawyer agrees to accept a percentage of the recovery they obtain in a case. For example, a lawyer may have a contingent fee agreement in which they charge 30% on any recovery made. If the lawyer obtains $100,000 in compensation, the lawyer would charge $30,000 to the client and recover this fee only at the end of the case. If the lawyer does not recover any compensation for their victim, they do not receive any payment for their services. However, there are certain circumstances when a client may still be responsible for paying costs to the lawyer, therefore it is important to clearly understand any fees a client will pay in the event they do not receive compensation for their claim.
What Is a Contingency Fee Agreement?
At Jason English Law, we believe that accident victims have the legal right to pursue compensation from a negligent party who caused them harm. This is why we offer a contingency fee agreement that allows injury victims to hire us even if they do not have funds upfront to pay for our services. We only take personal injury cases that we believe we can successfully obtain compensation in, so we are willing to put in the work now to help you receive justice and receive compensation at a later time for our services. This gives our clients the peace of mind of knowing that an experienced personal injury attorney is protecting their legal and financial rights. You only pay for our services if we obtain results for you.
Benefits of a Contingency Fee Agreement
Some of the benefits of a contingency fee agreement are:
- The client does not have to pay for legal expenses upfront
- The lawyer is incentivized to achieve results because they are not paid if they do not
- The client can receive legal services when they need them, without having to wait to save up for these expenses
- The client can transfer the risk of losing the case onto the lawyer
Contingency Fee Agreements: What to Look For
According to the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, a contingency fee agreement should include the following:
- Description of the Case – Contingency fee agreements are not appropriate in all cases, such as criminal cases.
- Writing – Contingency fee agreements should be in writing and signed by both parties.
- Costs – The agreement should state what costs might be involved in the case, such as copying fees, discovery costs, court and filing fees, expert witness fees, medical record retrievals, and other expenses that the client will be responsible for paying for. Additionally, the agreement should state whether the contingency fee is calculated before or after these costs are deducted.
- Method of Calculating Contingency Fee – The agreement should clearly state the contingency fee and how the fee is calculated. If there will be different percentages charged based on whether the case is settled, tried, or appealed, the agreement should state this information.
Contact Jason English Law Today
If you would like more information on contingency fee agreements, and how you can have an experienced personal injury attorney protect your legal and financial rights following a personal injury accident, consider contacting Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548. We provide a free case consultation to review your case and explain how we can help you receive compensation for your injuries and losses under the law.