Personal injury victims often hesitate to hire an attorney due to concerns about the associated costs. However, personal injury lawyers have devised a solution to address this issue, ensuring that anyone, regardless of their financial situation, can benefit from legal representation. They offer their services on a contingency fee basis, alleviating the burden of immediate financial obligations after an accident. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, we take injury and accident claims in Colorado on a contingency fee basis. Contact our Denver law firm today for your free case review.
How Do Contingency Fees Work?
When a law firm operates on a contingency fee basis, it means they will only charge a fee for the attorney’s services if and when they secure a financial recovery on your behalf. In simpler terms, the attorney’s fees are contingent upon winning the case. This is in stark contrast to an hourly rate structure where you would be required to pay the attorney for their services regardless of the case’s outcome.
With a contingency fee arrangement, you won’t owe any attorney’s fees if your lawyer fails to achieve a settlement or secure a positive jury verdict. Only when your attorney successfully wins your case, they will charge a fee based on a percentage of your settlement or judgment award.
The beauty of a contingency fee arrangement is that you won’t bear any of the financial risks associated with filing a personal injury lawsuit out of your own pocket. It also serves as a strong motivator for the attorney to maximize your payout since their payment is dependent on your success.
Determining the Contingency Fee Percentage
Different personal injury law firms have varying fee structures and policies regarding their legal services. It is crucial to fully understand how a law firm and its attorneys charge before signing any contracts. With a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney will receive an agreed-upon percentage of the financial compensation as their final payment.
Contingency fees can vary widely based upon the type of case and the ethical rules for attorneys in each state. In Colorado, it is common for cases taken on contingency by plaintiff’s lawyers to range between 25-40%. Contingency fees often involved stepped increases in fees as the case progresses and requires additional work and resources. If your case goes to trial, for instance, the attorney may charge a higher percentage since it involves additional effort. It is essential to discuss the fee percentage and breakpoints with your personal injury attorney before finalizing the contract.
Negotiating Contingency Fees
Negotiating the contingency fee rate is possible, depending on the unique circumstances of your case and the attorney you are working with. You always retain the right to attempt to negotiate a lower rate before hiring an attorney for representation. However, once you sign a contract, the opportunity to negotiate the fee rate is lost.
Always inquire about the negotiability of rates with your prospective accident attorney. Additionally, consider seeking fee information from other attorneys in your area to compare prices. Generally, the chances of securing a lower rate increase if you can present a valid reason to the attorney. For instance, if you have already completed a substantial amount of the groundwork for your case, it provides a justifiable basis for a reduced fee. Moreover, any changes in the estimated settlement amount can influence the attorney’s charges for their legal services.
Additional Fees to Consider
When working with an attorney on a contingency fee basis, you should not be required to pay anything upfront. The law firm assumes the financial risk associated with your case, covering the costs of investigation and litigation. However, it is important to note that there may still be other fees or expenses associated with filing a lawsuit.
For instance, you might need to pay court filing fees, discovery costs, expenses related to hiring expert witnesses, and overhead expenses. Before initiating a case, have a comprehensive discussion with your personal injury lawyer to identify any potential fees you may incur. Your attorney should be transparent, upfront, and provide an accurate estimate of the total costs involved in your case.
By understanding the intricacies of contingency fees and associated expenses, you can make informed decisions when seeking legal representation for your personal injury case. Remember to choose an attorney who not only offers favorable fee arrangements but also demonstrates honesty and transparency throughout the process. Fee amount and structure are important factors when choosing a lawyer for your case; however, you should consider many other factors in your decision. A law firm that charges a reduced contingency fee percentage may also put most of the work on your case in the hands of a case manager or paralegal, rather than a lawyer.
If you suffered injuries in an accident in Colorado due to someone else’s negligence, contact our Colorado law firm to discuss your case. We offer free case reviews at no obligation. We are happy to discuss our fee structures so you can make an informed decision about the right lawyer for you and your case.