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What A Contingency Fee Agreement Means For The Agreeing Client

Almost every personal injury lawyer asks prospective clients to sign a contingency fee agreement. That guarantees payment to the consulted lawyer of a designated portion of the client’s awarded compensation. What else does the client agree to by providing his or her signature?

The client becomes free of one obligation.

The client does not have to pay an attorney any money up front. That feature of the arrangement appeals to many of those men and women that have suffered a personal injury. Their situation has forced them to operate by using a limited amount of money.

At the same time, a client’s signature on a contingency fee agreement provides the signee with freedom from worries about how much money the hired lawyer might ask, once the case has been won. The wording in the agreement normally states the percentage of the award that the client’s attorney should receive. Most agreements mention a figure of 33%. Some personal injury lawyers in Waterloo charge more, if they need to appear in court.

Costs are not the same as fees.

Although personal injury lawyers must wait for their fee, each of them must pay as well certain costs, while working for their clients. Those are costs related to filing fees, preparation of documents and monetary payments to expert witnesses. Normally a personal injury lawyer pays those costs up-front, and then gets reimbursed by taking money from the client’s compensation. What each prospective client should seek to learn is exactly when the lawyer’s cut gets taken from that award.

Does it get taken out of the total compensation, or does it come out of the money left, after the lawyer has already taken his or her designated percentage? Lawyers that follow the latter system force their clients to accept a smaller award. Their clients must carry the full burden of the need to reimburse the costs that were paid up-front.

Suppose though, that a client fails to win his or her case. Then, how does that same client’s legal counsel get reimbursed for the money that was paid up-front? That is another question that a prospective client might want to ask a consulted attorney.

Some lawyers agree to absorb those costs, if there is no reward money. Conversely, some lawyers do not follow that particular policy. Those in the latter group ask their clients to supply the funds that would allow for reimbursement of money that had come out of the lawyer’s pocket.

What are the chances for that happening? That happens in only a limited number of cases. Understand personal injury lawyers’ approach to the task of accepting possible clients. Most of them only accept cases that they feel they can win.

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