What is a Contingency Fee for Personal Injury Claims?

After you have been involved in an accident or have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you have a lot to think about.  You will be concerned about your medical treatment first and foremost.  You may also be concerned about your family and how your injury will affect them and the quality of life in your home, especially if your injury has made it impossible for you to return to work.  One of the most important concerns of anyone involved in this kind of accident is being able to afford the consequences of it.  Do you have enough to cover your medical bills?  Do you have enough to care for your family if you can’t return to work and make a wage?

Of course, you do have recourse in the form a personal injury claim.  If you know the person who was responsible for the accident or whose actions directly caused your injury, then you can seek damages from them to cover these important costs.  When the time comes to file a claim, though, it will be important to seek the help of a Portland personal injury lawyer.  For many people who are already concerned about costs, the thought of taking this next step and hiring an attorney may be scary.

It’s ok.  You can relax.  The fact is that while many personal injury lawyers do work on a flat fee or hourly basis, still quite a few more can be retained based on contingency.  A contingency fee is essentially a fee that is paid to the attorney that represents you after a settlement has been received.  The attorney receives a pre-determined percentage of this settlement as you agreed upon, and if the settlement is zero that means your attorney will receive zero.

An average Portland personal injury lawyer will likely charge up to 33 percent as a contingency fee to work on your case, especially if the claim has to do with any automobile accident or basic personal injury. Now if the case is a little more complex, such as cases that involve medical practice or product liability, you could see these fees go a tad higher.

Here is an example to show you how contingency fees work in the real world.  Say you hire an attorney to assist you with your personal injury claim.  The attorney is able to assist you to obtain a settlement of $100,000 for medical treatment costs, lost wages, and punitive damages.  If you and the lawyer agreed to a 33.33 percent contingency fee, the lawyer will take $33,333 from the $100,000 obtained in the settlement, leaving you with a final settlement amount of $66,666.

Depending on any prior agreements, the Portland personal injury lawyer that you retain to assist you may also need to be recouped for any out-of-pocket expenses that they incurred during the course of your claim.  These expenses may include fees paid to expert witnesses, administrative costs, and travel costs.  It will be important for you to fully discuss any contingency fee and other fees with your attorney before making any final agreement.