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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Do Contingency Fee Lawyers in New York Deserve 1/3 of My Settlement? Understanding Legal Fees

Suffering a personal injury due to someone else's negligence can be a life-altering experience. From physical pain and emotional distress to mounting medical bills and lost wages, the aftermath of an accident can leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. During this challenging time, seeking legal representation is crucial to protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve. However, the prospect of legal fees can add another layer of stress and confusion.

Many personal injury attorneys, including our team at Leitner Varughese Warywoda, work on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement allows individuals to access high-quality legal representation without the burden of upfront costs. However, it's natural to wonder: "Do contingency fee attorneys deserve 1/3 of my settlement?" This blog post aims to shed light on how contingency fees work, the rationale behind the percentage, the benefits they offer, and the possibility of negotiating fees in certain situations.

Understanding Contingency Fees

A contingency fee agreement is essentially a "no win, no fee" arrangement. It means that you, as the client, do not pay any legal fees upfront. Instead, your attorney's fees are contingent upon the successful outcome of your case. If your lawyer fails to recover compensation for you through a settlement or a court judgment, you owe them nothing for their legal services. However, if your lawyer successfully recovers compensation on your behalf, their fee is typically a percentage of the total amount recovered.

The Rationale Behind the Percentage

The standard contingency fee percentage for personal injury cases in New York is 33.3% to 40%. While this may seem like a significant portion of your settlement, it's important to understand the rationale behind it.

Risk Sharing: Personal injury cases can be complex and require extensive time, resources, and expertise. By taking on cases on a contingency basis, attorneys assume the financial risk of potentially not getting paid for their work if they don't win your case.

Costs and Expenses: Personal injury cases often involve substantial upfront costs, including court filing fees, expert witness fees, investigation costs, and other litigation expenses. These costs are typically covered by the attorney and reimbursed from the final settlement or award.

Motivation and Dedication: The contingency fee structure aligns the interests of the attorney with the client. The lawyer's compensation is directly tied to the success of your case, incentivizing them to work diligently and achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Benefits of Contingency Fees for Clients

Contingency fee arrangements offer several significant advantages for individuals seeking legal representation after an injury:

  • Access to Justice: Individuals who may not have the financial means to pay for legal services upfront can still access high-quality legal representation and pursue their rightful compensation.

  • Reduced Financial Risk: You don't have to worry about paying hourly fees or upfront costs, which can alleviate significant financial stress during a difficult time.

Focus on Recovery: Knowing that your attorney is invested in the success of your case allows you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery without the added burden of legal fees.

Negotiating Contingency Fees

While the standard contingency fee percentage is common, it is not always set in stone. In some situations, there may be room for negotiation, especially in complex cases or those with high potential settlement values. Factors that may influence fee negotiation include:

Complexity of the Case: Cases involving complex legal issues or requiring extensive investigation and expert testimony may justify a higher fee due to the increased time and resources needed.

Stage of the Case: If a case settles before going to trial, the attorney may be willing to accept a lower fee since they have incurred fewer costs and invested less time.

Client-Attorney Relationship: Open communication and a strong client-attorney relationship can foster trust and understanding, potentially leading to more flexible fee arrangements.

It's important to discuss fees openly and transparently with your attorney before signing a contingency fee agreement. At Leitner Varughese Warywoda, we believe in building trust with our clients through clear communication and ensuring they fully understand the terms of our representation.

Why Choose Leitner Varughese Warywoda?

If you've suffered a personal injury in NYC, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Nassau County, or Suffolk County, Leitner Varughese Warywoda is here to help. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has a proven track record of success in securing substantial compensation for our clients. We handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including:

Car Accidents

Truck Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

Construction Accidents

Slip and Fall Accidents

Medical Malpractice

Wrongful Death

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges you face after an injury, and we are dedicated to fighting for your rights every step of the way. Our contingency fee arrangement ensures that you have access to top-tier legal representation without the burden of upfront costs.

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve.


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