Legal Help For (Almost) Free? How A Contingency Fee Works In Auto Accident Cases

Many people who get hurt in auto accidents may feel frustrated because they don't have the cash needed to hire an attorney. After all, it's common knowledge that most lawyers require a hefty fee before they'll start work on a case. What isn't common knowledge is that auto accident lawyers work in a completely different way than nearly all other types of lawyers. If you were injured in a car wreck that wasn't your fault, you can hire an auto accident attorney for (almost) free. At least, you won't have to pay a penny up front. Keep reading to learn about contingent fees and how they work in accident cases.

What is a Contingent Fee? 

A contingent fee is a legal fee that is paid only if a case results in a financial settlement or award. The client who makes a contingent arrangement is not required to pay any money at the time they hire the lawyer, but will instead be asked to sign a contract detailing future payment.

The Contingent Fee Contract

There are several important things to be aware of before signing this type of contract. Typical points in a contingent fee arrangement include:

  • Client agreement to pay the attorney a portion of the total settlement or award
  • Client agreement to use that attorney as sole legal representative
  • Attorney agreement that if the case is lost or results in no settlement, no money will be owed

A lawyer will typically receive one third of the total award or settlement in a contingent fee arrangement, according to the American Bar Association.

Who Should Hire a Lawyer on a Contingent Fee? 

The short answer to this question is easy: anyone who is broke and needs an auto accident attorney fast. Having skilled legal representation is always superior to trying to blunder your way through the complicated negotiations and court processes on your own.

Some people may hesitate to hire an accident lawyer using this type of arrangement because they feel the eventual cost is too high. Consider, though, that there is no charge for a loss. People who hire an auto accident lawyer on a contingent fee basis run absolutely no risk of losing money. This simple fact may make a contingent fee lawyer a good bet even for someone who has enough cash to hire an attorney immediately.

An auto accident lawyer will typically offer a free consultation to anyone who has been hurt in an accident. Talk to a local attorney about how they would recommend pursuing your case. You may be just a contingent fee agreement away from needed compensation!