Many people fear the idea of hiring a lawyer because of money. People searching for a lawyer may also hear the term ‘contingency fee’, which sounds expensive, right? However, before making a decision about whether or not you hire a lawyer, know the real definition of contingency fee and how it could benefit you.
Attorneys that work on a contingency fee basis make sure the client doesn’t have to pay a cent unless their lawyer wins their case. Why is this important? It’s because there is no financial risk to hire an attorney. This fee is paid at the very end of your case and only after there is a win. With personal injury law, it’s always recommended to get treatment for your injury. With that being said, treatment is also taken into account with a contingency fee system.
Not every law firm, even practice area offers this, but we do (in all our areas of practice)! As we dive deeper in this blog, we will discuss the personal injury law side along with laws specifically in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. When it comes down to cost at the end of a claim, here’s what to know and expect.
The contingency fee system is put in place so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Even treatment. Everything will be deducted at the end. Therefore, if you ever go to a doctor, any costs will be billed to your lawyer and kept track of. It doesn’t hurt to keep in mind yourself as well any treatment you seek, that way everyone is on the same page.
Your attorney will know and keep track of any treatment you’ve had for your case. They should also be transparent with you on all costs and fees throughout the process. In the end, costs and fees vary by law firm.
Every law firm is different, that goes just the same with how much their attorney fees are. The standard for attorney fees is often around 1/3 or 33% of the final settlement. If there is more work involved, for example if the case goes to court, then it would typically be raised to 40%. The percentage is taken out of the gross settlement, meaning before any costs are taken out (which is separate).
This is the industry standard for a contingency fee basis. Nonetheless, every law firm can set their own fees lower or sometimes even higher (for example, 45%). The fee does not include the costs of treatment, which initially is not paid out of pocket. You will eventually have to pay those back from the final offer as well.
Treatment is considered a cost in a contingency fee system. They are separate from the lawyer fees. Treatment could involve paying for medical records when needed to gain an exponentially higher amount in the end that may be worth covering the costs of those records. It could also include chiropractor bills, emergency room visits, medication, among others depending on the current insurance you have. Another could be court costs, when needed for your case. However, you and an attorney should be completely transparent about these costs.
In the end, all of these fees and costs may seem scary and may make you think, “What’s the point of hiring a lawyer then?” Keep in mind that if your case would need more treatment, medical records or court visits, there is a reason. That reason is because a higher settlement can be reached to where these initial costs will only be a fraction of what you get back. There are also many other benefits of a contingency fee system.
There are more benefits to a contingency fee system than just no out of pocket costs. While this is great as well, another benefit is that you can seek treatment right away, without having to worry about paying out of pocket. Treatment also raises the value of your case which in turn will bring a higher amount in the end. This will also help you to recover from your injuries quicker, while your case is being resolved.
Hiring an attorney will allow you to get better and get back financially at the same time. A lawyer’s job is to make sure you receive the maximum for your case keeping in mind all fees and costs. Meaning that they will make sure you receive way more to pay for everything as well as get you back a high amount to take home. Any good lawyer will make tactical decisions with you and your lawsuit to see whether or not a cost may be worth it.
Needless to say, not every law firm operates like this. These are just industry contingency fee system standards. Here at Malloy Law Offices LLC, we understand the financial struggles of an injury-causing accident. So, we work on a contingency fee basis.
We will do the work for you while you recover. Hiring us and having a contingency fee system offers long term benefits and no short term loss, which means there is no risk. We trust this system because we are confident in winning your case. Our firm also offers free consultation because we care about your well-being. Let us know and we’ll be transparent with you.