One of the most frequently asked questions asked of attorneys from potential clients is how much is your attorney fee?  It is common practice for personal injury lawyers to provide free consultations and the vast majority of personal injury lawyers typically advertise with the punch line phrase “I do not get paid unless you win.”

In legal terms, this is called a contingency fee which simply means the attorney agrees to represent you and his or her fee is deferred until the end of the case and the attorney only collects a fee if the case results in a favorable outcome.  The attorney fee is then based upon a percentage of the amount awarded to you.  Legally, a contingency fee agreement is only available in certain types of cases. While in other case types, a contingency fee agreement is absolutely prohibited.

A contingency fee agreement is available in the following types of cases:

  • Personal Injury Cases – car accidents, slip and fall injuries, dog bite cases, and work accidents.
  • Products Liability Cases – defective products that cause harm. A current example of products liability would be the currently litigation surrounding Lumber Liquidators.
  • Certain Employment Discrimination Cases – age or race.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – violations committed by creditors for harassing debtors.

A contingency fee agreement is NOT permitted in the following types of cases:

  • Criminal Cases –  DWI, Assault, or Public Intoxication
  • Family Law Cases –  divorce, child custody, adoptions, or child support
  • Immigration – application for a work visa or student visas
  • Juvenile Cases – a child accused of illegal behavior such as failure to attend school or possession of marijuana

I did not list every case type.  Also, not all lawyers offer contingency fee agreements, so when you are meeting with a lawyer for the first time, simply ask.

Disclaimer: The information and materials provided here are for general informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of a slip and fall attorney.  If you need legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.