What Accident Victims Should Know About Contingency Fees

If you were to hire a personal injury lawyer in Kingston, then according to your agreement with that same member of the legal profession you would have to pay a contingency fee, once your case had been resolved. The method for payment of that fee would depend on the method of resolution.

Source of funds for payment

The funds would come from an awarded compensation, if you had chosen to resolve the dispute by means of a negotiated settlement. The lawyer would receive some percent of the money awarded to you, the injured victim.

The funds would come from a court-ordered judgment, if you had chose to sue the party that was allegedly responsible for your injury. The lawyer would receive some percent of the court-ordered judgment.

Features of a contingency fee, regardless of the source of funds

The personal injury attorney normally receives 33% of the compensation. Lawyers take a larger percent of a court-ordered judgment, because each judgment comes at the end of a court session, which puts added demands on a given lawyer’s time.

Clients must pay for costs, in addition to the contingency fee.

—Some lawyers take their fee before paying-off any liens.
—Some lawyers pay-off the liens before taking their contingency fee.

Lawyers’ clients do not have to take a lump sum payment. Any one of them could ask for scheduled payments of a part of the awarded money.

What would happen if the client failed to obtain any compensation or court-ordered judgment?

That does not happen very often, because a personal injury attorney normally refuses to take any case that does not seem like a sure win.

Smart clients ask their consulted lawyer ahead of time, regarding what action would be taken in such a situation.

Some lawyers simply forgive payment of the fee, if the client has failed to win. Still, the client would need to understand how the payment of costs would be handled.

How clients’ actions could slow or speed the delivery of compensation funds

The insurance company sends the compensation money to the client’s lawyer, once it has received the signed release form.

The lawyer uses the check’s funds to pay-off the liens, and also takes his/her contingency fee.

The lawyer then makes out a new check to the client.

If the name on the lawyer’s check matches the name on the client’s bank account, then the client should have no trouble depositing the same check. However, if the lawyer’s check were made out to the client’s nickname, then there would be a delay, during the preparation of a second check.

All clients should understand that fact. It is their responsibility to provide the attorney with the name on their bank account.