Acquiring the services of a skilled lawyer is always wise when dealing with a claim, lawsuit, or any case. However, it can be quite expensive depending on your situation. Contingency fee agreements are arrangements that a lawyer and client make to sort out payment for legal fees. It is essentially an agreement that the client does not have to pay their attorney unless they win the case and collect compensation. After compensation is awarded, a percentage of it is owed to the lawyer as payment for services rendered. The lawyer’s payment is contingent on the outcome of the case.

handshake agreement

Contingency fees can be a great option for clients who cannot afford to front the money for their attorney at the moment but will be able to if and when they receive compensation and damages. To inquire about legal services and your options as a client, reach out to a Long Island personal injury lawyer for more information.

How Are Lawyers Typically Compensated?

Attorneys put in long hours and do the impossible to ensure you are properly represented to the best of their ability. When they are being compensated for their work, their wages can come in a few ways. A lawyer may charge their client in the following ways.

  • Hourly: Your attorney will charge a certain dollar amount for each hour of work that they do. Hourly work typically requires a retainer (a down payment of sorts). Hourly work is usually billed during a case that takes extended periods to research and settle.
  • Flat fee: Flat fees are one-time payments that are typically used when a lawyer performs a simple or short-term task. This can include quick cases like a traffic ticket or one-off services such as drafting a will.
  • Contingency fee: As discussed, a contingency fee is a percentage of compensation that is awarded to a client. It is paid to the attorney after the case is settled and can be beneficial to the client if they do not have the financial means to pay the lawyer upfront.

When Are Contingency Fee Agreements Used?

Lawyers may choose to use a contingency fee agreement during a number of cases. They can be beneficial to the client if their case is particularly complicated and they do not currently have the funds to pay their attorney. Lawyers can choose when to work for contingency fees so they will likely try to choose this option when they are confident that they will be able to recover compensation for the client. Some cases where lawyers may agree to work for a contingency fee can include:

  • Worker’s compensation claims
  • Personal injury cases
  • Class action lawsuits
  • Employment discrimination cases
  • Malpractice cases
  • Sexual harassment cases

It is important to note that the use of contingency fees is never allowed when dealing with criminal cases or divorce cases. This is true for a variety of reasons. It can create a conflict of interest and give the lawyer financial motivation to participate in immoral or illegal activities to win the case.