What is a Contingent Fee Contract?

by Terry Bryant

Many personal injury attorneys work under a contingent fee contract. But many injured people do not know what a contingent fee contract is. This can be intimidating to an accident victim who is looking for help but is afraid of signing a contract filled with legal jargon and unfamiliar terms.

Generally, a contingent fee contract is an agreement that the client will owe no attorneys’ fees or expenses unless the attorney recovers money on the client’s behalf. If the attorney recovers money for the client in a settlement or by winning a lawsuit, then the client owes an attorneys’ fee and is responsible for case expenses incurred in handling the claim. The terms of each attorney’s contingent fee contract are different.

A contingent fee contract is common in personal injury cases. Accident victims often cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of hiring an attorney. When an accident victim needs legal representation, the financial stress of unexpected medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs eat up any savings the client may have available to cover legal expenses. This is why the contingent fee contract, requiring no upfront payment, is so widely used.

It is important to choose an attorney who is willing to explain the terms of a contingent fee contract so you are comfortable with the professional you are choosing to represent you and understand what to expect during your representation. You should never sign a contract that you do not understand.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact a board certified personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claim.