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Contingency Fees In Personal Injury Cases

Contingency Fees In Personal Injury Cases

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Personal Injury

What is a Contingency Fee, and How Does it Work in Personal Injury Cases?

Lawyers use multiple types of fee arrangements, and which method of payment attorneys and firms accept is dependent upon numerous factors, including the type of case, area of law, and the specific tasks involved. Lawyers are prohibited from charging, collecting, or even agreeing to unconscionable fees for legal services, but what are reasonable fees?

The following are some factors that are used to determine what the proper legal fees should be in California:

  • The value of the services performed
  • The relative sophistication of the attorney and client
  • The difficulty level and skills required to perform the legal service
  • Time limitations
  • Nature of the professional relationship with the client
  • The experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney

These, among other things, dictate the fees that attorneys charge for their services. The type of law also often determines how a lawyer will be paid, such as a fixed fee versus a contingency fee. California personal injury lawyers often use a contingency fee arrangement. Contact us if we can be of help in your personal injury matter at 888 964-1530 or contact us here

What is a Contingency Fee?

Attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis are paid a percentage of the award won in each of their cases rather than on an hourly rate. These lawyers do not earn any fee if they lose the case and their client does not recover compensation. However, winning cases earn contingency fee lawyers a set percentage of the damages that their clients are awarded.

The set fee can be up to 50% of the total awarded compensation, depending on which state the case is in. This may seem like a high percentage, but lawyers who charge based on contingency terms carry significant risk. If the case is not successful, the time and effort these attorneys spend will be uncompensated. In addition, these attorneys perform months and sometimes years of work on cases before receiving any fee for their services.

The additional costs associated with a lawsuit may still be the client’s responsibility. These costs can include expert witness fees, filing fees, and other miscellaneous expenses incurred when progressing a case forward. This is something that you should discuss with your attorney prior to signing a fee agreement to ensure you understand the structure of their contingency fee arrangement.

The Law Offices of Michael D. Payne are available to discuss their fee structure and answer any questions you may have about your case. Being easily accessible to clients is a top priority for Michael Payne and his legal team.

Other Types of Fee Structures

Not all lawyers agree to condition payment for their services on a successful outcome.

Hourly Rate

The type of fee structure that many people are familiar with is an hourly rate, as it is a very common payment arrangement for legal services. In this method, the attorney bills for the work they perform on a case based on their hourly rate. This rate differs between lawyers but is based on the experience and skill of the lawyer and how sought-after they are, as well as other factors like the complexity of the case.

Fixed Fee

A fixed fee is a set amount that an attorney charges to completely resolve a legal matter. This method is most often used for routine tasks like reviewing a contract or creating a will.

Statutory Fee

Some state laws dictate an amount that must or can be charged for certain legal matters. Probate, for example, is limited in many states as to the fees associated with settling an estate.


A retainer most often means that the client pays a lump sum upfront to the attorney in exchange for future legal services. Retainers can be used when a case is pending or forthcoming, or they can be used just in case something comes up in the future.

Contingency Fees and Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury attorneys often charge somewhere between 33 1/3% to 40% of the awarded compensation in their cases. California law requires that your legal fee arrangement is in writing, and you must sign the agreement for it to be valid. When reviewing this document and prior to signing, ask your personal injury attorney any questions you may have about their fee structure.

There are many advantages to the contingency fee structure in personal injury cases. First, many personal injury victims face financial challenges as a result of their accidents. While the cost of an attorney can be a barrier for numerous people in need of legal assistance, eliminating up-front fees allows more people to access the help they need.

This type of payment structure also provides the added benefit of ensuring your attorney is dedicated to reaching a positive outcome in your case. While good attorneys will always take each case seriously and provide the best outcome possible, the contingency fee factor helps to put clients’ minds at ease.

California personal injury attorney Michael D. Payne is dedicated to providing fair and skillful representation to his clients, and that means charging based on a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that legal fees are one less expense to worry about as you focus on recovering from an accident. Contact us for help with your personal injury matter or car accident case

Should You Hire a Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Case?

Getting compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages is of the utmost importance after an accident. The fact of the matter is that economic assistance is often required for effective recovery from injuries, and at the very least, it makes the process easier. You deserve to have the best legal representation for your personal injury case.

Michael D. Payne’s legal prowess earned him an appearance on CNN, and his decades of experience have solidified his ranking as a top personal injury attorney in California.  In personal injury cases No Recovery No Fee.  Contact us at 888 964-1530 or you can reach us here