Contingency fee arrangements are common in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability. A contingency fee arrangement means that an attorney agrees to defer payment of attorney’s fees and costs until the client receives a recovery in the case. That means the client does not pay any money up front and only pays if the attorney obtains a recovery for the client. However, some attorneys may be willing to accept other types of cases on a contingency fee basis. So, what type of case might an attorney be willing to take on a contingency fee basis? There are certain criteria that an attorney will consider when evaluating your case, including the following.
Although in certain cases a successful settlement can be reached early with skilled legal counsel, there is never a guarantee that this will occur. Therefore, the attorney should educate the client on all potential outcomes, even if unlikely. Then the client can make an informed decision to initiate the lawsuit and not be unfairly surprised once the process is already started. Not every attorney will discuss these matters thoroughly at the outset of the case, resulting in an unnecessarily stressful experience for clients. If a client is properly educated at the outset of the case, he or she can decide whether the potential economic recovery justifies the potential time and effort of the process—a decision that should lie with the client and not the attorney.
Consult with a Licensed Attorney Before Choosing a Law Firm
Consider contacting multiple law firms before you make a choice—you may be surprised at the range of experiences you encounter. Many clients prefer a more personalized approach where you meet and question the actual attorney that will be representing you before being asked to sign a contract. Contrast this with certain large law firms where a client may only speak with an attorney once throughout the entire case (and not at all before signing up) and can be left feeling like a cog in a machine. Being able to communicate with your attorney is important at the outset and throughout your case. A properly informed client can make informed decisions throughout the case and feel confident that their attorney has maximized their recovery at the conclusion of the case.
This newsletter is for general information and education purposes only.
It is not offered as legal advice or legal opinion.
To the extent this message contains tax advice, the U.S. Treasury Department requires us to inform you that any advice in this letter is not intended or written by our firm to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Advice from our firm relating to Federal tax matters may not be used in promoting, marketing or recommending any entity, investment plan or arrangement to any taxpayer.