Most people have heard or seen lawyer advertisements that say “No fees unless we win your case.” This is in essence what a contingent fee arrangement means. It is the type of contract that most employment, personal injury lawyers, and wrongful death attorneys use. We do not charge an up-front hourly rate for our work. Unlike big companies, most people cannot afford to pay lawyers their usual $250 – $1,000 per hour. A contingent fee arrangement means that we take a percentage of the money we recover for you, provided we recover any monies deserved to you. In most cases, we advance the litigation costs as well. These costs include investigation, filing fees, depositions, court fees, and experts. The cost of taking a complex case to trial can easily exceed $100,000.
We invest our time and our money in your case in the hope that we can prevail. Do we prevail most of the time? Yes. Every case? No (Note that when you are interviewing lawyers, if anyone says “I win every case,” that lawyer is either stretching the truth or has a flexible definition of the word “win”).
Because of the time, risk, and effort involved in cases, the attorneys’ fees for most contingent fee cases are 33% – 40% of the total recovery. In some cases, like minors, medical malpractice, and claims against the Federal Government, fees may be less. In rare cases, they may be more. It is worth noting here that the IRS has determined that settlements and verdicts from personal injury claims are not taxable.
Contingency fee arrangements level the playing field. They give everyday people the ability to obtain some of the best legal representation in the industry without paying hundreds of dollars per hour up front.
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 We also note that we are personal injury, wrongful death, and employment lawyers, not tax lawyers. While this has been the standard with the IRS for some time, you should verify this information with a tax lawyer prior to making any determination about settlement.