The Pros and Cons of a Contingency Fee Agreement


According to data, approximately 20 to 50 million people suffer non-fatal injuries every year.

You’ve been injured in an accident and are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Personal injury cases can be complex, and if you’re not sure whether or not to hire a lawyer, you need to learn more about working with a contingency fee lawyer.

Want to learn more about the pros and cons of a standard contingency fee agreement? Keep reading for our complete guide to working with a contingency lawyer.

What Is A Contingency Fee Agreement?

A contingent fee agreement (CFA) is an arrangement where the plaintiff’s attorney works on behalf of the client for no payment upfront. Instead, the lawyer receives compensation when they win their claim.

This type of agreement is also known as “no win/ pay” because if the case loses, the lawyer does not get paid for their services.

The contingency fee agreement is popular with individuals because if they lose they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket and if they win there will be a sum of money awarded to them.

What are the benefits of a Contingency Fee Agreement?

The benefit that comes from using a contingency fee agreement is that you aren’t going to have to worry about paying an hourly fee to a local personal injury lawyer. Instead, there are different types of agreements.

Most agreements will require the plaintiff to come up with half of the court costs before beginning representation as well as a retainer fee which can range from $5,00050,000 depending on the type of case.

When a Plaintiff uses a contingency payment arrangement, they don’t have to pay any legal fees unless their lawyer successfully negotiates a settlement for them.

Another common type of contingency fee agreement is “success on the merits.”

This means that if a plaintiff loses a case even if it is found that they did not cause whatever injury or damage they were claiming – then their attorney does not get reimbursed for his/her services.

If you win your case with this kind of agreement, you have to pay court fees. This will cost you money, so you might not make as much money as if you had paid upfront.

What are the Cons of Contingency Fee Agreements?

The first con is fairly obvious. Should you lose your case, then you would not only be responsible for court costs and attorney fees but could owe more depending on what you settle upon in the contract.

Assuming you win the claim, your payout may be less than it otherwise would have been using hourly billing because contingency agreements typically take out anywhere from 25-50% of the total settlement.

Hourly lawyers tend to charge a higher rate than contingency fee lawyers because it is riskier for them and they have to take out their percentage of whatever you might be awarded from the start.

Is a Contingency Fee Agreement Right for You?

If you’ve been injured and need a lawyer, it can be difficult to know what type of attorney is best for your case. A contingency fee agreement can offer some advantages but also come with drawbacks.

This post has delved into those pros and cons to help you make the right decision.

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About the Author: Amanda Byers

Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.


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