attorney talking about contingency fees

What Is a Contingency Fee?

Did you know that most New York personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis? It’s true. You see, the legal system has acknowledged that accident injury victims are often in extremely precarious financial situations. Think about it. After an accident, the injured person will likely, and should, receive medical care for injuries suffered. As we all know, medical bills can be expensive. All of the doctor visits, procedures, lab work, radiographic studies, and follow-up care can add up to some scary numbers. On top of the medical bills, there is also the fact that accident injury victims often need to miss work due to their injuries. While having an attorney by your side after an accident may sound like a big relief, the thought of paying out for an attorney after all of this can be daunting and sound unrealistic, to say the least.

That is why contingency fee structures are so commonly used in personal injury cases. It allows an accident victim to retain trusted legal counsel without the need for paying up front fees and costs. How does the contingency fee arrangement work? We will talk more on that here.

What Is a Contingency Fee?

Put plainly, a contingency fee is a fee that is not paid or considered to be earned unless and until a certain specified event occurs. In the world of personal injury claims, the event is, of course, when a monetary recovery on the claim has occurred. So, when you hear personal injury attorneys proclaim that they do not get paid unless you get paid, this is what they are referencing. Your personal injury attorney, pursuant to a contingency fee arrangement, will recover a portion of your monetary recovery paid out on your claim.

The specifics of your legal fee arrangement should be detailed in the retainer agreement you sign to officially hire your attorney. Before signing such a document, be clear on its terms and pay particular attention to the fee arrangement. It will detail what percentage your attorney will take as payment for services rendered as well as other costs that could be deducted off the top. Off the top expenses will usually include expenses your attorney had to advance in order to cover costs associated with the case. This could vary from postage, copies, court filing fees, all the way to retaining expert witnesses on your case.

Once you have received a settlement on your claim or a damages award paid pursuant to a court order, your attorney will detail how things will be disbursed. Should you have any questions about this, be sure to ask your attorney’s office. It can be important for you to understand the process. Oftentimes, your attorney will work to reduce costs at every turn, even helping to negotiate your medical bills down to more manageable levels.

New York City Personal Injury Attorney

Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. is committed to providing the best in legal representation for all of his clients. He will rigorously pursue your right to monetary compensation for harm suffered as a result of an accident. Contact our office today.