Initially, nothing. Our fees are taken out of any damages paid to you by the defendant.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, where a fee for legal services is only charged to the client when there is monetary recovery for the client in the form of a negotiated settlement or jury verdict. Most attorneys who handle motor vehicle accident cases charge a fixed fee of between one-third and two-fifths of the recovery amount. Personal injury attorneys generally do not charge a consultation fee just to talk to you and inform you of your legal rights and the strength of your case, but you should make sure of this before you make an appointment.
Attorneys who work on a contingency fee basis also cover out of their own funds the costs related to the prosecution of the case, such as court filing fees, medical records, and witness depositions. Normally, these expenses are recovered only if the client wins the case. However, some Illinois personal injury attorneys collect their legal fees only if their client wins, but still expect you to pay up front for court costs and fees regardless of the outcome. Your fee agreement will explicitly state what you are responsible for paying.
A contingency fee agreement must be in writing and signed by all parties involved to ensure that there is a “meeting of the minds” (Ill. Sup. Ct. R. 1.5). The written agreement must state whether the client is responsible for court fees and related expenses regardless of the outcome of the case.
Why Hiring a Lawyer on a Contingency Fee Basis Makes Sense for Your Car Accident Case
When you hire a lawyer to represent you on a contingency fee basis, your interests and those of your attorney are very much on the same page, as they will only receive a fee when they are successful in recovering compensation for you.
From the perspective of an injured party, you should appreciate the financial risk that an attorney takes when representing a client on a contingency basis. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, where we handle a significant number of auto accident cases across Illinois, we regularly pay up front for case expenses such as:
- Police reports
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Physician reports
- Expert witnesses
- Court costs
- Court reporters
While not every case incurs all of the above expenses, we are prepared to invest all the resources necessary to secure the most favorable outcome for you. Unfortunately, there is always the risk that there may not be a recovery. We accept these risks and do our best to determine the probability of recovery in the early stages of evaluating a new case. Nonetheless, the risk of no recovery is present in many cases and we are willing to accept it.
Are You Ready to Hire a Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case?
Hiring a lawyer to represent you in a car accident case where you were injured is a big step and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. We understand your anxieties at this difficult time, and we are always happy to meet with you and your family at our office or your home so you can get to know us and we can answer any questions you have about your case or the legal process. We want you to be happy with the lawyers you choose to represent you. Call us today and learn how we can assist you.