Contingency Fee Representation

November 3, 20152 min read
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When a plaintiff is unable to pay lawyer or attorney fees, the plaintiff does not have to pay any legal fees unless or until a case has been settled. This enables the lawyer to receive a percentage of the plaintiff’s recovery.

A contingency fee representation is used in severe cases where a plaintiff is seeking monetary compensation for any injury or damages caused to themselves of any property.

Contingency Fees Versus Non-Contingency Fees

Contingency Fees: In many cases, lawyers will receive an hourly rate which they are paid to assist with a plaintiff’s case. In the event of a contingency fee system, a lawyer can secure a percentage of the plaintiff’s recovery from the case as compensation.

Non-contingency Fees: Under this system, rates for lawyers are based on various aspects such as the complexity of the case, the experience of the lawyer, resources involved in the case, and finally the amount of time the lawyer will be spending on the case.

In this regard, lawyers are paid an hourly rate, covering any costs they have endured throughout the time they have worked on the case. Additionally, costs can include delivery costs, filing fees, and court costs among others.

What is a typical contingency fee?

Lawyers and plaintiffs can agree upon a final percentage that will be compensated to the lawyer once the case has been settled. This percentage can range from 25-33% of the amount settled in favor of the plaintiff.

Factors that can influence the contingency fee:

  • What is the complexity level of the case?
  • Who is responsible for the litigation costs involved?
  • What happens if the plaintiff loses the case?

In the event that a plaintiff and lawyer lose the case, lawyers will receive no compensation for their efforts. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of contingency fee representation, as this can be a less promising route for lawyers looking for a payment to take.