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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

What is a contingency fee arrangement in a personal injury case?

A contingency fee arrangement is a type of payment arrangement where a personal injury lawyer agrees to represent a client on a "contingency" basis, meaning that the lawyer will not charge the client any fees upfront, but will instead take a percentage of any settlement or award that the client receives in the case. This type of arrangement is often used in personal injury cases because it allows individuals who may not have the financial resources to pay for legal representation upfront to access legal counsel.

How much do contingency fee injury lawyers charge?

Contingency fee percentages can vary depending on the specifics of the case and the lawyer's level of experience. In general, contingency fees for personal injury cases in New York can range from 33% of the settlement or award that the client receives, or in a medical malpractice case, a lesser “sliding scale”.  New York State has laws that limit the percentage of a contingency fee that a lawyer can charge. It is important to discuss the specific terms of the contingency fee arrangement with the lawyer before agreeing to representation.

Do I to pay any upfront costs if I hire a contingency fee injury lawyer?

In most cases, you should not have to pay any upfront costs if you hire a personal injury lawyer on a contingency fee basis. The lawyer will typically advance the costs of pursuing the case, such as filing fees, court costs, and other expenses, and will be reimbursed for these costs out of the settlement or award that the client receives. It is important to discuss any potential costs or expenses with the lawyer before agreeing to representation.

Can I switch to a different lawyer if I am not happy with the representation I am receiving under a contingency fee arrangement?

If you are not satisfied with the representation you are receiving from a personal injury lawyer who is working on a contingency fee basis, you may be able to switch to a different lawyer. However, it is important to carefully consider any potential legal or financial consequences of switching lawyers, as this may affect your ability to recover damages in the case. It is advisable to discuss any concerns you have with your current lawyer and try to resolve any issues before making a decision to switch lawyers.

What happens to the contingency fee if I do not win my case?

If you do not win your personal injury case, you typically will not be required to pay your lawyer any contingency fees. However, you may still be responsible for paying any costs or expenses that the lawyer incurred in pursuing the case depending on the arrangement you entered into when signing the retainer agreement.  It is important to discuss the specific terms of the contingency fee arrangement with the lawyer before agreeing to representation, so that you understand your financial obligations in the event that the case is not successful.

Contact a New York City and Long Island Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a New York City or Long Island accident, or if you lost a loved one in an accident, you could be eligible to seek compensation through a lawsuit. To learn more about filing a negligence claim in New York, you should get in touch with the experienced New York accident attorneys at our firm as soon as possible.

Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today for more information


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