How Contingency Fees Work in Car Accident Cases

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When an accident takes place, it is observed that the first thing people rush for is to take legal advice by contacting a lawyer. This can feel a little overwhelming along with all other additional things to deal with at the same time.

Now, with this comes the thought of the legal fee that one has to pay along with other medical bills to be paid and bearing the loss of income at the same time.

Here comes the concept of contingency fee that has been really popular lately on the legal side of things when it comes to car accidents. Clients get to pay the lawyers on the basis of their performance, if the car accident lawyer manages to win the case, they are paid the decided amount, and if they do not win, they don’t get anything. 

What is a Contingency Fee? 

On the legal side of things, the term contingency fee is very well known. For a layman, it means that the payment of the lawyer is contingent on the result of the case. 

In easy words, if the client manages to win the case, then the lawyer is paid the desired amount, and if they are unsuccessful in a case, the attorney will not be getting the fee.

If seen in-depth, this form of payment is really helpful in cases where the party is really suffering due to the payments that they have to make focusing on the medical bills. So, it is much better for the parties to pay the amount later in the future when they do not have to deal with the immediate financial burden.  

This also works in the favor of the clients as the lawyers put their heart and soul into dealing with the case. This form of payment motivates them to work hard to get their cut and also to make the parties win the battle at the same time. 

Calculation of the Contingency Fee

It is important to understand how the contingency fee is calculated when you get into this form of payment. 

According to the perspective of a personal injury lawyer, the basic way of payment is by agreeing on a basic percentage between the client and the attorney.  indicates that the lawyer will be getting his percentage if he ends up winning the case for the clients.

The percentage can vary but it can be between 25% to 40%. So, this is the main settlement that is made between the attorneys and their respective clients. 

The standard rates can always vary depending on the state where the case is being held. Also, the lawyers that have a really strong track record of winning cases are very likely to ask for more as compared to the ones that do not have as great of a track record. 

Factors Impacting the Percentage of Fee

There are some factors that need to be considered to decide on a percentage that is to be paid to the attorney.

Complex Cases: The cases that take a lot more work compared to others can impact the percentage of the contingency fee. A case that is more complicated can require a lot of research, expert advice, and expert observers. 

Litigation: A lot of times, there are differences in the percentage of the fee as it goes forward in the court. A lot of times, the percentage that is at the start of the case ends up increasing as the case goes forward. 

Out-of-Pocket Amounts: If there are some other financial costs that occur. The clients are also responsible for dealing with all these costs. So, it is important to decide earlier, if these costs will be to be dealt with before or after the attorney is given his percentage.      

Potential Cons of the Contingency Fee

However, there are a number of advantages to this approach, there can be a number of disadvantages or cons that come with that.

  • If the case gets resolved earlier than it is supposed to. There is a high chance that the attorney will be getting a lot more than if they were being paid on an hourly basis. 
  • Clients should always look at the risks associated with the case before deciding on the percentage of the contingency fee. 
  • It is also very important for both the client and the lawyer that they are on the same page. If there is any kind of pressure felt by the client, there are chances that there is a conflict coming the lawyer’s way.   


When it comes to the contingency fee of a case, it is not a very easy matter to deal with. There are a number of considerations that need to be kept in mind when you deal with the payments made to the lawyers. So, make sure that you have a very clear approach and that the lawyer and the client both end up being satisfied.

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