Contingency fees are a boon for many of our clients. They allow us to take all the up-front risk of taking on a case without asking for a large retainer or charging an exorbitant hourly rate.
Contingency fees give people the power to gain representation when their financial situation is likely to become chaotic. They’re most common in personal injury cases and are unavailable in many others. For example, in New York, attorneys may not charge contingency fees for criminal cases or divorce cases.
Contingency fees are based on the outcome of your case. As your attorneys, we only get paid if we achieve a successful settlement you agree to or if we win for you in court. If you receive nothing, your attorney also receives nothing.
You’ll know the percentage in advance. We’re required to provide you with a written agreement that sets out the terms of the arrangement.
Under New York law, contingency fees are limited to a maximum of 33 ⅓% of the recovery in most cases. The exact fee will depend on the anticipated complexity of your case as well as on the experience and expertise of your attorney.
Keep in mind that the fees don’t necessarily cover certain legal costs. For example, if we retain an expert witness, your settlement may have to cover that bill above and beyond our contingency fees. If we don’t win anything, we will pay those costs for you out-of-pocket.
While 33 ⅓% plus legal costs might seem exorbitant, remember that you’re more likely to receive a personal injury payout when you involve a lawyer. In addition, you’re likely to receive a settlement that’s 3x to 10x larger than it would have been had you tried to handle your injury case on your own. You always come out ahead when you hire a personal injury lawyer.
Here’s how the math works. Let’s pretend you could have gotten $10,000 on your own.
But with a personal injury attorney, you could have gotten $30,000. The 33% contingency fee amounts to $9,900. For the sake of argument, we’ll say you had to pay an additional $1000 in additional filing fees.
You still walk away with $19,100 instead of with $10,000. That’s a substantial difference!
So if you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t let fear of legal costs slow you down or stop you from obtaining the legal representation you’ll need to support your case. Contact us to schedule a free initial case evaluation today!
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