What is a Contingency Fee Arrangement?

What Does Contingency Fee Basis Mean?

A contingency fee arrangement is a form of payment to your lawyer for his or her legal services. If an attorney charges on a contingency basis, it means your attorney gets paid a percentage of the money you recover when your case is won or settled. In other words, payment for your attorney’s services is “contingent” upon you receiving some amount of compensation. 

A contingency fee is the most common type of payment arrangement in personal injury and car accident cases. Generally, attorneys that operate on a contingency fee basis do not charge any upfront fees for their services and do not require a retainer fee. Rather, a contingency fee lawyer will front all expenses of a case, and then will be reimbursed for the expenses after a case is settled. Costs can include things such as obtaining medical records, filing fees, investigation, and the costs of hiring an expert. 

This is one of the most significant benefits of a contingency fee arrangement; clients owe no upfront fees and do not have to worry about legal expenses while the case is ongoing. In most cases, if your lawyer is not successful in recovering money on your behalf, your lawyer typically will not require any of the upfront costs to be repaid. 

How Does a Contingency Fee System Work?

In a contingency fee arrangement, you will pay your lawyer at the very end of your case, and only if your lawyer recovers money on your behalf. It’s important to remember that when payment is due, you will not have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, your contingency lawyer will simply take a percentage of the settlement or judgment award as the legal service fee.

Contingency fee arrangements incentivize an attorney to work hard and maximize the financial outcome for the client. Compared that to an hourly fee arrangement where a client pays their lawyer for legal work throughout the duration of a case, regardless of whether the client wins or loses.

What Percentage Does a Lawyer Get in a Settlement Case?

Contingency Fee Example

Denver, CO car accident attorneys typically charge contingency fees of 33-45%. This means that the attorney gets paid 33-45% of the total case settlement or judgment award. For example, if a case settles for $25,000, and the attorney’s fee is 33%, the attorney’s fee is one-third of $25,000, or $8,250.

With SettleUp, the contingency fee is only 20%. Using the same example, if a case settles for $25,000 and the attorney’s fee is 20%, the attorney fee is one-fifth of $25,000, or $5,000. That’s a cost savings of $3,250.

Why Choose SettleUp As Your Car Accident Lawyer?

At this point, you might be wondering why do you only charge a 20% contingency fee if the average contingency fee ranges from 33% to 45%? The straight answer is: we believe you deserve to keep more of your settlement money. Our attorneys embarked on a mission to reinvent the practice and delivery of legal services long dominated by large personal injury law firms.

One way we are doing this is by eliminating unwarranted legal fees. Standard lawyer fees for personal injury claims (33-45%) include the cost of handling a case through trial and appeal. When a claim involves severe injuries or is likely to go to court because fault is contested, attorneys can add significant value to the claim which justifies the standard contingency fee. However, for cases where fault is clear (the other driver was given a ticket) and injuries will heal, many people aren’t interested in going to court. If you don’t need or want to go to court, we don’t think you should be paying for services you will never use.

At SettleUp, our goal is to provide high-quality, effective, and convenient legal care at an affordable and reasonable cost. Learn more about SettleUp.

Contact Us

If you’re struggling to get fairly compensated for a car wreck, but don’t want to pay 33.3% or more in lawyer fees, SettleUp could be the ideal solution for you. If you have questions or are interested in a complimentary consultation, get in touch with us.