October 31, 2013

Make Sure You Understand What a Contingency Fee is when Using an Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

One common term you will hear any time you retain the services an accident attorney in Los Angeles is contingency fee. It is important you fully understand what this fee is and how it works. Many people do not take the time to ask questions of their lawyer, so if their case is won, they are shocked when they do not receive the full amount of their verdict or settlement.

A contingency fee is the amount your lawyer charges for representing you in your personal injury case. Most lawyers do not charge you anything, upfront, but instead have you sign an agreement stating the amount of their fee should they win your case. As a result, you are required to pay for their services if they are able to reach a settlement with the other party’s insurance company or secure a favorable verdict if your case goes to court. Any fees you owe are taken out of your settlement or final verdict and are the contingency fee.

Your personal injury attorney will explain to you in detail what amount they charge for contingency fees during your free initial consultation, as long as you have grounds for filing a case. Often this is a set percentage amount, rather than an actual dollar amount. An average amount charged is around one third, or thirty-three percent of the settlement or verdict amount. For example, if you were awarded $50,000 from your case, your attorney would take approximately $16,500 for the contingency fee out of the $50,000, and the remaining amount would then be issued to you.