A contingency fee agreement is a contract between a client and an attorney and/or law firm in which the attorney’s fees are dependent on the outcome of the case. If the victim is successful and receives monetary compensation at the end of the case, the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the money awarded. Contingency fee agreements have been in practice for more than 100 years. They allow anyone, regardless of their wealth or power or circumstance, to pursue a claim against a person or company who may be more wealthy and powerful than they are.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT AND OTHER ATTORNEY FEE AGREEMENTS?
There are three typical fee agreements used between clients and attorneys:
- Hourly Rate Agreements – The lawyer or law firm is paid a dollar amount per hour of time working on the case
- Flat Fee Agreement – The lawyer or law firm charges a flat fee for a particular service
- Contingency Fee Agreement – The lawyer or law firm receives percentage of the gross money awarded to the client. If no compensation is awarded, the attorney does not get paid.
With a contingency fee agreement, the client never receives a bill, and therefore must never issue a payment to the law firm before the conclusion of the case. The other two agreements require the client to pay throughout the case, regardless of whether there is a successful outcome.
HOW DOES A CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT WORK?
attorney’s contingency fee is a percentage of the total monetary compensation achieved in the case. For general liability cases, the standard Habush Habush and Rottier contingency agreement percentage is 33.33% of the total monetary compensation. In product liability cases, this contingency percentage may be higher due to increased risks and expenses associated with these types of cases. In medical malpractice cases, the contingency fee is governed by Wisconsin Statute Section 655.013.
For Habush Habush and Rottier, this fee does not change whether the claim is settled out of court or has to be tried to a jury.
In every case, there will be expenses associated with proving the case. These costs may include expenses associated with retrieving medical records, expert witness fees, deposition transcripts, and other case related expenditures. If the law firm is successful for the client, the costs are reimbursed at the end of the case, in addition to the contingency fee.
Many law firms require clients to pay these expenses before beginning the case. However, at Habush Habush and Rottier, we front all expenses and necessary costs required to prosecute the case. If, for whatever reason, the outcome does not yield monetary compensation, the client is not responsible for paying the costs.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A CONTINGENCY FEE AGREEMENT FOR VICTIMS AND ATTORNEYS?
A contingency fee agreement is everyone’s key to the courthouse. Often, individuals who have been seriously injured find themselves unable to work while the bills continue to pile up. It may be impossible for those individuals to hire an attorney if required to pay the fees up front on an hourly basis.
A contingency fee agreement allows anyone, regardless of wealth, power or circumstance, to have effective and competent representation without spending any of their money throughout the case. It also allows those who would not have the means to pay for an attorney, such as children or the elderly, the possibility of receiving proper compensation for their suffering.
Are you unsure if you will be able to take your claim to court? The team of experienced attorneys at Habush Habush and Rottier will evaluate your case and fight for what’s right and help you take your case to trial if necessary. Contact us to learn more.