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Contingency Fee: How Much does a Lawyer Cost?

What we do is we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning it doesn’t cost you any money upfront.


Contingency basis, in the context of legal representation, typically refers to an arrangement where a lawyer’s fees are dependent on the outcome or “contingent” upon the success of the case. In other words, the lawyer’s fee is contingent upon the client receiving a favorable outcome, such as a settlement or a judgment in their favor. If the client does not receive any compensation or favorable outcome, the lawyer may not charge a fee or may charge a reduced fee.

Contingency fees are commonly used in personal injury cases, where an injured person seeks compensation from a liable party for their injuries and damages. Personal injury cases are often handled on a contingency basis because the injured person may not have the financial means to pay an attorney’s fees upfront. With a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney agrees to represent the client and pursue the case without charging any upfront fees. Instead, the attorney’s fee is typically a percentage of the amount recovered from a settlement or judgment, and is paid only if the case is successful.

Contingency fee arrangements can vary depending on the attorney and the jurisdiction, but the percentage of the contingency fee is typically agreed upon in advance between the attorney and the client. It is important to carefully review and understand the terms of any contingency fee agreement, including the percentage of the fee, how costs and expenses will be handled, and what happens in the event of a loss or no recovery.

It’s worth noting that contingency fees may not cover certain expenses, such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, or other out-of-pocket costs incurred during the legal process. It’s important to clarify with your attorney what costs and expenses may be separate from the contingency fee and how they will be handled.

Contingency fee arrangements can provide access to legal representation for individuals who may not have the financial resources to pay upfront legal fees, but it’s important to carefully review and understand the terms of any contingency fee agreement, and consider seeking legal advice to fully understand your rights and obligations.

When Should I Hire an Attorney?

You should hire a San Antonio personal injury lawyer or car accident attorney as soon as possible after your car accident. Of course, your health and safety comes first, so ensure that you prioritize tending to any injuries first thing. However, retaining an experienced attorney is vital if you want to fight for and win the compensation you deserve.

What Damages Can I Recover from a Legal Case?

If you want to recover damages from a car accident where you were not at fault, or even if you were not entirely at fault, you should speak with you San Antonio car accident attorney. They can help you determine which damages you are eligible to recover, including lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Do I Have to Pay if I Lose My Case?

Typically, no. A San Antonio personal injury lawyer will typically create an arrangement with their client if they have experienced a severe injury from a car accident. In those cases, the client will only pay after a successful verdict, with compensation for injuries, is won or a settlement is paid out.

Am I Still Eligible to Recover Damages if I Was Partially at Fault?

Yes. You can still recover damages or receive compensation in an amount that is proportionate to what a judge determines your culpability was. That means if you were 30 percent at fault, you would retain 30 percent of the compensation.

When Should I Pay My Attorney In A Personal Injury Case?

Most attorneys that take personal injury cases take those cases on a CONTINGENCY FEE basis. Herrman and Herrman, PLLC, like most Personal Injury law firms, get paid contingent upon the client getting paid. This means that Herrman and Herrman does not get paid unless the client gets paid from a settlement. In the scenario that we cannot find any insurance for the at-fault party, we will not charge any fee or require any payment of attorney’s fees. This is true for most law firms, however, a larger law firm can and does often spend the necessary funds to properly investigate the claim.  

Herrman and Herrman, PLLC works on a 35% contingency fee basis. Some firms in south Texas charge MORE than 35% contingency fee for services rendered. The contingent fee structure has been around for a long time and generally applies to plaintiff’s work. The law firm that takes your case takes the risk and responsibility from a financial standpoint in the hopes that the claim settles.  

In some American jurisdictions, a lawyer for the plaintiff in a civil case can take a case on a contingent fee basis. A contingent fee is a percentage of the monetary judgment or settlement. Where a plaintiff loses, the attorney may not receive any money for his or her work. A typical split of pain and suffering is 35% for the lawyer, roughly one-third for the physicians, and roughly one-third for the plaintiff. The contingent fee may be split among several firms who have contractual arrangements amongst themselves for referrals or other assistance. 

The contingent fee has been described as the cheapest way to get to the courtroom because there are no upfront attorney’s fees associated with this type of case. In contrast, corporations or wealthy individuals can afford to hire attorneys to pursue their legal interests. The contingency fee affords any injury victim the opening, regardless of ability to compensate up front, to hire the best attorney in his or her field. Most jurisdictions in the United States prohibit working for a contingent fee in family law or criminal cases and the practice of accepting a contingent fee is mainly in the tort arena. 

In short, do not be weary of a contingency agreement with your lawyer. This type of agreement allows the plaintiff to be free of the burdensome worry of paying for adequate representation because it allows all men and women to afford the best attorney up front.  

Why Do Personal Injury Attorneys Work on A Contingency Fee Agreement?

Personal injury lawyers often work on a contingency fee basis for several reasons:

  1. Access to Justice: Contingency fee arrangements provide access to legal representation for individuals who may not have the financial means to pay upfront legal fees. Many people who have suffered personal injuries due to accidents or negligence may face financial challenges, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Contingency fees allow injured individuals to pursue their legal rights and seek compensation for their injuries without having to pay an attorney’s fees out of pocket.
  2. Shared Risk: Contingency fees also share the risk between the attorney and the client. If the case is not successful, the attorney may not receive any payment for their time and effort invested in the case. This encourages personal injury lawyers to carefully evaluate and select cases they believe have merit, as their payment is contingent on the case’s outcome. It aligns the attorney’s interests with those of the client in seeking a favorable outcome.
  3. Incentive for Results: Contingency fees provide an incentive for personal injury lawyers to obtain the best possible outcome for their clients. Since their fee is tied to the amount of compensation recovered, it motivates them to work diligently and advocate aggressively on behalf of their clients to maximize the recovery. This may include negotiating with insurance companies, gathering evidence, engaging in legal research, and preparing for trial.
  4. Efficient Resolution: Contingency fee arrangements can promote efficient resolution of personal injury cases. Since the attorney’s fee is contingent upon a successful outcome, there may be an incentive to settle the case in a timely manner, rather than engaging in protracted litigation. This can benefit both the client and the attorney by potentially resolving the case faster and with less cost and uncertainty.
  5. No Upfront Costs: Contingency fee arrangements relieve the client of the burden of paying upfront legal fees. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who may not have the financial means to pay for legal representation, allowing them to pursue their legal rights without incurring immediate financial expenses.

It’s important to note that contingency fees and their specific terms may vary depending on the attorney and the jurisdiction. If you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer on a contingency fee basis, it’s crucial to thoroughly review and understand the terms of the contingency fee agreement, including the percentage of the fee, how costs and expenses will be handled, and what happens in the event of a loss or no recovery. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you fully understand your rights and obligations in a contingency fee arrangement.

What Does “Contingency Fee” Mean?

Generally referred to as a “no win no fee”, a contingency fee, or conditional fee, is an agreement for a client to pay their lawyer only if the lawyer handles a case successfully. The lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage, usually, one-third of the recovery if no suit is filed, which is the amount finally paid to the client. If you win the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money awarded to you. If you happen to lose the case, neither you nor the lawyer will get any money and you will not have to pay for work done on the case.

This is so that those seeking to pursue their civil rights are able to do so without financial concerns. However, attorneys usually will only take cases if they believe the case has good merit. To understand whether or not your case is of merit, you need to determine the value of your case. Consulting an attorney can help in this evaluation and help you to decide whether you should pursue filing a claim.

Common myths associated with contingency fees:

1. Contingency Fees Are Uniquely American

Contingency fees, “no win-no pay” fees, are not unique to the United States. There is at least some form of legally accepted “no win-no pay” fee that exists in a number of other countries.

2. Most Contingency Fee Cases Involve Little Risk for Lawyers

Most contingency fee cases do yield some recovery and therefore some fee. However, this assertion misses the real contingencies such as the uncertainty about the amount that will be recovered, the uncertainty about what it will cost in both effort and expenses, and the uncertainty about how much time will pass before the recovery is obtained. These factors can pose a great risk for lawyers in determining whether the case was settled successfully.

3. Plaintiff’ lawyers obtain a significant portion of their clients through advertising, particularly media advertising and direct mail.

Despite modern advertising, most lawyers representing clients on a contingency fee basis get the vast majority of those clients through the means of referrals, either from satisfied clients or from other lawyers.

4. Lawyers Accept Anyone Who Contacts Them with a Potential Claim

Lawyers evaluate potential cases in terms of the risks involved and the potential returns associated with those risks. An attorney will not take any potential claim and reject cases that do not satisfy the attorney’s acceptable case criteria.

Herrman & Herrman: Our Fee Agreement

We do all of the work, and we advance all of the expenses, and only if we recover money for you do you owe us anything. And if we don’t recover money for you, we could work fifty hours or 5,000 hours, it doesn’t matter, we just work for free. So, our interests are aligned with yours, and it’s in our best interest to get you as much money as possible because then that raises our fee too. So, anybody can afford to hire us. Most of our clients are poorer or working class people who we understand to work paycheck to paycheck, so anybody can afford to hire us.

I can’t afford legal services. What do I do?

Look no further. Serving over 25,000 clients a year, The Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) organization is the third largest legal services provider in the nation and largest in the state of Texas. There are over 2.6 million residents of Southwest Texas eligible for the services with a ratio of almost 21,000 potential clients per lawyer.

The program headquarters is in Weslaco, Texas, where a broad range of practice areas including colonias and real estate, civil rights, border issues, international abduction are specialized in. Over three dozen in total.

In order to qualify, applicant must meet the income, asset and immigration requirements established. Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid will always attempt to find a funding source that will permit representation for persons who are unable to afford the services of a private attorney. So even if you don’t think you qualify, they may be able to assist you one way or another.

Additionally, TRLA operates public defendant programs in several Southwest Texas counties, representing the poor who are accused of felonies, misdemeanors and juvenile crimes.

Especially here in the Rio Grande Valley, where the indigence rate is one of the top in the nation, it is essential that we spread the word that there are programs and services available to those in need such as TRLA.

Whether it’s volunteering or making a tax-deductible donation, there is more than one way to help and every bit makes a difference. I strongly encourage that whether you know someone or you yourself are in need seek them out and know there are people ready to help you and don’t let a lack of resources stop you.

Every year millions of people miss out on this wonderful opportunity where free legal aid service is available to those in need. Often times it’s due to just not knowing that it is possible as the misconception is you always need a lot of resources to take care of a legal problem.

Their toll-free hotline is 1-888-988-9996 and website is www.trla.org. Contact them today, you will be glad you did.

Let Herrman & Herrman Personal Injury Lawyers Help!

With over 100 years of combined experience among the legal team of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our Texas personal injury attorneys have successfully resolved over 20,000 cases. When representing injured Texas residents, we fight for justice against wrongdoing and aggressively pursue the best resolution to complex personal injury claims.

If you or a loved one was injured, please contact us for a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., is a locally based law firm focused on holding negligent individuals and companies accountable for their wrongdoing. We are not a personal injury mill that advertises nationwide. We provide individualized advocacy in attending to all aspects of claims that involve. Our firm has offices in the following locations: Corpus ChristiCorpus Christi South SideBrownsvilleMcAllenSan AntonioHouston, and Ft. Worth, TX.

We remain by our clients’ side, handling all aspects of their claims and attending to all legal, medical and financial needs. That dedication is combined with experience, legal knowledge, and insight from a former insurance adjuster and several former insurance defense attorneys. Whether our clients are suffering from physical pain from an accident or the emotional grief of death, we treat clients with compassion. We put their mind at ease during difficult times by answering their questions concerning the length of their claim, medical bills, financial compensation and their overall need for a lawyer.

Gregory H. Herrman has been committed to providing quality legal representation for injured accident victims in the Corpus Christi area and the Rio Grande Valley for many years. After getting his J.D., Herrman joined a firm in Corpus Christi, handling both plaintiff’s personal injury and insurance defense cases. After five years, he joined his brother, David, and another attorney to form their own law firm committed solely to representing injured accident victims. Herrman has maintained that focus in his practice ever since.