How Attorney Contingency Fee Agreements and Cost Advancements Work
California personal injury attorneys understand that accident victims usually don’t have funds available to pay attorney’s fees. That’s why most personal injury attorneys in California work on a contingency fee and advance costs for the cases they retain. Hiring an attorney to represent you after an accident will help you obtain the highest amount of compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. When you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, they’ll collect more money than you ever would on your own, even when you factor in their fee.
What’s a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee means that the attorney will get paid a percentage of your settlement or court award once your case is completed, and will not get paid at all if they lose. That’s why personal injury attorneys will turn down cases they don’t feel are strong, either because the fault is not clear enough or the injuries are minor. If an attorney is willing to take your case, this means they believe it has merit and is worth the investment of their time and resources. Most California personal injury attorneys charge a fee of 1/3 (33.33%) to 40% (if a lawsuit is necessary) of what is collected with their legal cost advancements subtracted from the total. These legal cost advancements include filing fees, processing fees, expert witness fees, court reporters, investigation, medical record retrieval, etc. For example, if your case is settled for $100,000 the breakdown might be as follows:
– Medical Bills/Health Insurance Subrogation: $10,000
– Client: $56,667
– Legal Costs: $1,000
– Attorney Fee: $33,333
It’s important to keep in mind that the farther along the case goes in litigation, the higher the legal costs will be. That’s why it’s a good idea to take the advice of your California personal injury attorney about the best time to accept an offer to settle your case.