A common phrase many people come across while looking for an attorney is “contingency fees.” They may also read the words “We do not get paid unless you do” while browsing an attorney’s website. A contingency fee model is one of the ways through which clients pay their attorney’s fee. This method allows the client to pay later and only when they receive a favorable outcome. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), this kind of arrangement is mostly used in cases where money is being claimed. If you want to pursue a legal claim and want to learn more about how you can pay a contingency fee to your attorney in Arizona, contact Chuck Franklin Law at 480-545-0700 to know more about our services offered on a contingency fee basis.
How Is a Contingency Fee Calculated?
A contingency fee model ensures that a victim has access to legal representation and justice even when they might not be able to pay legal fees immediately. This type of fee structure lets the client file a claim for compensation or damages without making any upfront payment for legal services. The fee is contingent upon the lawyer winning the case or the client getting a favorable outcome. After the client secures some kind of monetary compensation, a pre-agreed percentage of such amount is paid to the lawyer. This also implies that if the lawyer does not win the case, no legal fees will be payable by the client.
Generally, this percentage is one-third or between 33 to 40 percent of the compensation secured. However, sometimes, depending upon the time and complexity of the case, this percentage may vary. This model is usually adopted for personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. The time of payment of litigation costs in another factor that impacts the total amount that is payable to the attorney after winning a settlement or lawsuit. However, the client remains responsible for the payment of the litigation costs or the out-of-pocket expenses.
The State Bar of Arizona requires that a contingency fee agreement between a lawyer and a client should be in writing and duly signed. It also prohibits the use of such model in certain family matters and criminal cases. Further, a contingency fee cannot be offered on a nonrefundable or earned upon receipt basis.
Making a legal claim involves certain out-of-pocket expenses. Generally, these expenses include:
Court and Filing Fees
Courts impose a fixed filing fee depending upon the type of case and in which court the case is filed. For example, the Arizona Judicial Branch specifies the filing fee depending upon the amount in controversy.
If a case requires testimony from an expert such as a doctor or psychologist, then such costs add up to the litigation costs. The cost may vary depending upon the time required for preparing the report.
Discovery is a part of litigation and it occurs pre-trial. Such costs are included in the out-of-pocket expenses that the client has to bear.
Sometimes, a few extra dollars are to be spent on obtaining the relevant evidence such as documents, camera footage, and medical records.
Other expenses such as printing costs and courier costs may also add up to the out-of-pocket expenses that the client has to bear. The client can negotiate with the lawyer and both of them can make pre-agreed arrangements as to who will bear the litigation costs initially. This may sometimes impact the total amount payable to the lawyer as contingent fee. At Chuck Franklin Law, we provide contingency fee options for a variety of claims. To know more about the how contingency fee model works, contact our legal team today and learn how you can file a legal claim without paying legal fees upfront.
Benefits of Contingency Fee Model
A contingency fee model has pros for both the client and the lawyer.
The biggest advantage of contingency fees is that it allows anyone who has been wronged but cannot afford legal fees to still claim compensation and get justice. For example, those who want to file negligence claims against big corporations or manufacturers for faulty products can do so without thinking about the money they will have to pay. They can still secure a fair compensation for the injuries sustained by them.
Further, unlike hourly fee arrangements, where the complexity of the case might impact the hours spent by the lawyer and thus, increase the legal bill, here, the percentage of contingency fee is decided in advance even for complex cases.
A contingency fee model allows the lawyer to provide their services to those who need them but might not be able to afford them. It also provides motivation to work harder and secure the maximum possible compensation in a claim as eventually, it will increase the amount they receive in the end.
Things to Keep In Mind While Opting For Contingency Fee
It is important to follow certain best practices while opting for payment on a contingent basis:
- The contingent fee percentage should be agreed upon in advance between the client and the lawyer.
- The contingent fee model should not be opted for such legal cases where the law prohibits the same.
- The question of when the payment for the out-of-pocket expenses will be made should be discussed in advance.
- The agreement should be made in writing between the lawyer and the client.
Learn More About Contingency Fees In Arizona
If you want to file a legal claim but are worrying about the legal costs associated with the same, you can opt for what is known as the contingency fee model. At Chuck Franklin Law, we provide legal services based on contingency fees for different types of legal cases including personal injury claims. Contact our legal team today at 480-545-0700 and learn how our experienced attorneys may be able to help you secure compensation without charging any upfront legal fees.