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If Getting A Lawyer Is Contingent On Money: Contingency Basis Is The Solution

by Layla Bryant

If you suffered an injury in an auto accident, or in some other type of accident that wasn't your fault, you need to get a lawyer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, money can be a big impediment in personal injury cases, but it doesn't have to be. Many people assume that if they don't have the cash to pay a retainer fee that an attorney won't be willing to work on their case. While this is true in most other legal cases, personal injury law is different. Most attorneys recognize the fact that injury victims may be short on money immediately after the accident, so they accept the case on a contingent basis. Keep reading to learn how this arrangement works, and why it can work so well for you.

How Contingent Basis Works

A contingent basis is very simple: It is an arrangement that allows you to delay payment until your lawyer has already completed all the work on the case. With a contingent basis arrangement, you will agree to pay the attorney a specific percentage of your personal injury award whenever it arrives.

The award usually comes in the form of a settlement, but in some cases the award will occur in court. If your lawyer does not secure a win in the case, you will not be required to pay anything. This is a huge advantage of contingent fee cases, because it means you aren't taking a dangerous financial gamble by getting legal help.

The Cases That Contingent Basis Arrangements Are Used In

The types of cases that contingent basis arrangements are used in can vary widely. All of these cases fall into the personal injury category, and may include:

  • Car accident injuries
  • Dog bites, or other animal injuries
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Pedestrian injuries
  • Medical malpractice injuries

The Amount That a Contingent Basis Arrangement Will Cost

The amount that a contingent basis arrangement will cost depends on the case and on the attorney. There are usually two different levels of charges in contingent basis arrangements.

  • When There is a Settlement: Most personal injury cases arrive at a settlement before there is a court date. Your attorney's cut of the proceeds is lower when the case settles prior to court since there is less work involved for the lawyer in these situations.
  • When There is a Court Judgement: If the case is not settled until it goes to court, the attorney's cut of the proceeds is higher. For example, the percentage for a settlement case may be 33 percent while the percentage for a court judgement may be 40 percent.

If you are holding back from hiring a lawyer (like those at Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S.) because you are worried about money, you don't have to do so anymore. A contingent fee arrangement can help you get the money you need and deserve, and you won't have to break the bank to do so!