Understanding Contingency Fees

In personal injury cases, most attorneys work on a “contingent fee” basis. In this scenario, you agree to pay your attorney a percentage of your award if you are victorious instead of an hourly rate. There are no up-front fees required to hire an attorney.

What is a Contingency Fee?

If your attorney wins your case, the contingent fee is typically in the range of 33‒40 percent of the amount recovered. If you lose your case, your attorney does not get paid—no award, no contingent fee. The contingent fee frequently does not include charges for court filings, deposing witnesses, making copies of medical records, and so forth. Those costs will come out of the recovery amount if you are successful. If you lose the case, you may be responsible for those charges.

There are differences in contingent-fee arrangements from attorney to attorney. One big one is whether your attorney deducts the costs and expenses from your recovery amount before or after he/she is paid the contingent-fee percentage. This point is often negotiable.

Some contingent-fee agreements will operate under a graduated percentage contract. Legal work that’s more involved (e.g., filing a lawsuit and prepping for trial) will garner a higher contingent-fee percentage. The contingent-fee percentage may be lower if a case is settled prior to filing a lawsuit.

Contingent-fee arrangements eliminate up-front charges for the client; there are no mounting legal bills as a case winds through the legal system; lower-income people are afforded greater access to the legal system to pursue compensation for injury; and attorneys are highly motivated to win their cases…they don’t get paid otherwise.


Take Action Quickly

If you have been in an auto collision, it is important to contact a lawyer so that you can take action as soon as possible. The sooner that you take action, the more likely it is that evidence will be available to help you prove your claim and that the more likely it is that you will get a fair recovery sooner. 

We encourage you to contact us today via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with attorney Ben Crittenden. After that, you can make an informed decision about how to protect your legal rights.  To learn more, please read our free report, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, or call attorney Ben Crittenden today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Ben Crittenden
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Devoted to advancing his trial techniques and communication skills on behalf of injured victims in Anchorage.
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