A contingency fee is when a lawyer agrees to work on a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that the client only needs to pay the legal firm they have hired if their personal injury claim is successful.
Access to specialised representation
A contingency fee arrangement affords personal injury victims access to specialist legal representation at a time when they need it the most. Clients have one opportunity to get the justice and the compensation they rightfully deserve, so it makes sense to appoint the best lawyers that they possibly can – even if they don’t have funds available to pay deposits or legal fees upfront.
The advantages of a contingency agreement
In a contingency fee agreement, the personal injury attorney will carry the costs of engaging the necessary experts and specialists (such as investigators and doctors) without charging an initial fee. Nor do clients need to be concerned about hourly rates or making payments while their case is making its way through litigation – a process that can take up to 5 years to complete. A contingency fee also means that the appointed attorneys are directly invested in winning the case and will remain at their client’s side at every step of the way.
Signing a contingency fee contract
When entering into a contingency fee arrangement an attorney will ask the client to sign an agreement that is in compliance with the Contingency Fees Act. This is a formal, legally binding written contract between the client and the personal injury attorney. The contract will detail how much the client will need to pay the attorney should the matter be successfully finalised. These fees may be a fixed sum or a percentage of the total settlement.
Additional costs payable
In addition to paying the attorney’s fees as per the contingency agreement, the costs of the experts (party and party costs) who worked on the client’s claim will be deducted from the total settlement figure before it is paid over to the client.
What happens if I don’t recover anything in my personal injury case?
If for some reason the client’s claim is unsuccessful he or she does not owe the attorneys a cent. In short, the contingency fee structure enables clients to access specialised representation at no risk to them.
Adendorff Attorneys excel at personal injury claims and specialise in Road Accident Fund Claims. Book your free consultation with this Cape Town-based firm today.