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What Does Contingency Fee Really Mean?

By Ramsey Prather on September 15, 2023

If you suffer catastrophic injuries caused by an accident, it’s almost impossible to get fair compensation from the insurance company unless you have an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer who’s ready to fight for you. When you don’t have the right legal representation, the other side won’t take you seriously.

The insurance company makes money by paying out as little in claims as they can get away with. They will look for any excuse to deny your claim, and they might even argue that their policyholder is innocent and you are completely responsible for your injuries. Even when the negligent party’s insurance company offers you a settlement, it will probably be woefully inadequate to cover the cost of your medical bills and other expenses, such as lost income and medical devices.

You may feel like you have to take a lowball settlement because you don’t know how you could ever afford an experienced attorney to represent you. Fortunately, a contingency fee agreement allows you to hire a personal injury attorney without paying any upfront costs, and you won’t have to pay anything at all unless your attorney wins the case.

How Does a Contingency Fee Work?

A contingency fee is a written agreement that allows you to hire a personal injury attorney without paying anything until your case is completed and you have been awarded a settlement. If your attorney doesn’t win you any money, then they won’t charge you for their services.

Lawyers are highly trained professionals who typically charge expensive hourly fees. In personal injury cases, a contingency agreement levels the playing field by allowing you to retain the services of a skilled attorney who knows how to negotiate with insurance companies to help you get a fair settlement. A contingency agreement offers the following advantages for the plaintiff in a personal injury case:

  • Your Georgia injury attorney will only take the case if there’s a strong possibility you will win.
  • It will never cost you any money.
  • There’s a strong incentive for your attorney to do a good job representing you.
  • It makes legal representation available for people who don’t have a lot of money.

Choosing the Right Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer

Your Georgia personal injury attorney will first investigate the accident by reading the police report, reviewing your medical records, interviewing witnesses, and collecting physical evidence from the accident scene. Then, your attorney will file a claim or a lawsuit against anyone whose negligent actions contributed to your injuries.

It’s important to find a Georgia personal injury lawyer who’s prepared to go to court. Otherwise, the insurance company won’t feel pressured to make a reasonable settlement offer. That’s why you’ll want to find out how well the attorney has performed in similar cases.

Before signing a contingency fee agreement, it’s important to know the following:

  • What types of settlements and verdicts has the attorney won in the past?
  • What percentage of your settlement will you have to give your attorney if you win?
  • What expenses are going to be taken out of your settlement?
  • Is the attorney recognized by law firm rating agencies?
  • Which professional organizations does the attorney belong to?
  • What do former clients have to say about the attorney?

How Is Your Money Distributed After You Win?

After your personal injury attorney successfully negotiates a settlement or wins your case in court, you will receive a settlement check. Deductions in your settlement will be made based on attorney fees, and there may be other expenses. For example, if any medical liens have been filed against your settlement, they will be deducted. Your attorney will inform you about these expenses as the legal process unfolds.

In addition to your attorney’s percentage of the settlement, they will also charge you for expenses, which may include:

  • Medical records
  • Depositions
  • Expert witness fees
  • Filing fees
  • Travel and parking fees
  • Transcript costs

Have You Sustained Severe Injuries?

If somebody harmed you or a loved one, you have the right to seek damages. For over 35 years, the experienced litigators at Butler Prather LLP have been helping accident victims get justice.

In over 30 states, our firm has won hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Our Georgia attorneys have won nine verdicts exceeding $100 million and over 60 verdicts and settlements of more than $10 million.

Call us at (706) 322-1990 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.

Posted in: Personal Injury

I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
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