You may have heard from friends, family, or even the internet that you don’t have to pay anything to a lawyer up front for a personal injury case. In some instances, this is true. Many attorneys that take personal injury cases do so on contingency. But what exactly does contingency mean, and how does it work?
What It Means for an Attorney to Work on Contingency
When an attorney works on contingency, it means that they do not get paid unless you do. This gives the attorney great incentive to work hard on your case to win a good settlement or win at a jury trial. Before the attorney takes your case, they will evaluate it to determine the likelihood of winning a good settlement or trial outcome. If they deem your case worthy, they will set a percentage that you must pay out of your settlement or trial award.
Where the Money Comes From
In some cases, your attorney may work their legal fees into the requested amount, especially if you go to trial. However, most of the time when you get your settlement or trial award, attorney fees are not worked into the final figures. You still have to pay that contingency fee out of your settlement or trial award. This can mean that you get much less in your net proceeds than you might have expected.
The Settlement Disbursement Sheet
After your personal injury case has either settled or won in court, your attorney will prepare a settlement disbursement sheet for you. This sheet will list the total awarded amount and all of the things that are deducted including the attorney’s contingency fee based on the percentage you agreed to at the beginning of the case, as well as medical bills, filing fees, and other expenses. The net proceeds amount that you will receive will be at the bottom of the sheet, and this is what your check will be.
If you have any questions about how we work on contingency, please feel free to ask. We offer a free consultation to determine if your case can be handled on contingency. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.