How Does a Contingency Fee Work in Injury Cases?
If you’re hurt in an injury case, you may be thinking about how to get a fair recovery for your claim. You may already know about the benefits of having an experienced attorney on your side. Even if you already know how a lawyer can help you handle your injury case in the best possible way, you likely have questions about what it’s like to work with a personal injury attorney.
One of the things that you may have questions about is how your attorney gets paid for their services. You may have heard that some lawyers work on what’s called a contingency fee. Here’s what you need to know about how a contingency fee works in a Nevada injury case.
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What Is a Contingency Fee in a Nevada Personal Injury Case?
A contingency fee in an injury case is a fee agreement where the lawyer agrees to get paid only if you win your case. The lawyer agrees to take a percentage of what you recover in your case as their fee. With a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer takes the risk with you that you’re going to win your case. The more that you win, the more that the lawyer gets paid.
How Does a Contingency Fee Work in Nevada Injury Cases?
A contingency fee works in Nevada injury cases by an agreement with the client and a lawyer where the lawyer gets a percentage of the case winnings as their pay. The lawyer gets paid based on how much they recover. The amount of hours that the lawyer spends working on the case isn’t a factor when it comes to how much the lawyer gets paid.
Contingency Fees in Injury Cases in Nevada
When a person becomes the victim of a personal injury, how to pay an attorney can be a big concern. Fortunately, contingency fees are often the answer. With a contingency fee, the lawyer doesn’t get anything until the lawyer recovers a settlement or wins a trial verdict on behalf of the client.
Are Contingency Fees Mandatory in Nevada Personal Injury Cases?
No, contingency fees are not mandatory in Nevada personal injury cases. Instead, it’s up to the attorney and the client to agree if they want to use a contingency fee. While most personal injury victims prefer a contingency fee agreement, it’s not mandatory, and it’s up to you to decide if you want a contingency fee agreement with your lawyer.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Contingency Fee Agreement?
The primary benefit of a contingency fee to the client is that they don’t have to make an up-front payment, or they make only a small payment to offset initial costs of starting the case.
The client doesn’t have to worry about paying an attorney fee if they don’t win the case. Because the attorney gets paid more the more they recover, a contingency fee gives your attorney an incentive to resolve your case for the highest amount in the most efficient way possible.
Rules for Contingency Fees in Nevada Personal Injury Cases
There are rules that attorneys must follow if they wish to offer contingency fees in personal injury cases. The Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct are ethics rules that apply to all Nevada attorneys. Rule 1.5 of the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct creates guidelines that attorneys must follow when they offer contingency agreements. These rules include:
- Putting the agreement in writing
- The client must sign the agreement
- Each contingency agreement must state that it’s a contingency agreement, and the statement may not be in small type
- It must be clear whether the client has to pay expenses regardless of the outcome of the case
- The agreement must warn the client that they might be liable for the other party’s fees and costs if they lose their case
The purpose of Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.5 regarding contingency fee agreements is to make sure that the arrangements are fair to clients. With these guidelines in place, clients are assured that they can enter into a contingency fee agreement with a clear picture of all of the critical details. If you have additional questions about how the fee agreement works in your case, it’s important to discuss it with your attorney and make sure that every detail is listed in your final, written agreement for services.
If You Have a Contingency Fee, Who Decides When to Settle the Case?
Even with a contingency fee, it’s always the client that decides when to settle the case. A contingency fee agreement doesn’t mean giving up control of the case. It’s your attorney’s job to diligently prepare your case and present you with the honest information that you need to make informed decisions. But it’s still up to you whether to accept a settlement or continue the process towards trial. A contingency fee doesn’t change the client’s right to be the ultimate decision-maker in their case.
What Happens After My Injury Case Settles If I Have a Contingency Fee?
Once your personal injury case settles, your attorney must provide you with an accounting. They must show you how they calculate their fee. While that doesn’t mean providing you with an hourly billing statement, they must show you what they’re deducting for costs and how they calculate their pay based on the contingency fee agreement.
For example, if you recover $100,000, you may have legal costs of $10,000 and a contingency fee of one-third. In that case, your attorney shows you how they deduct $10,000 from $100,000 and then multiply the remaining $90,000 by one-third to arrive at an attorney fee of $30,000. Fees may be deducted before or after calculation of the contingency fee, and your contingency fee may be a different percentage.
Attorneys That Offer Contingency Fees in Nevada Personal Injury Cases
Have you been hurt in a personal injury accident? Are you wondering if your case is right for a contingency fee? We can help. Our attorneys offer no-obligation consultations at no cost to you. Let’s talk about your case. Our team can answer all of your questions about how a contingency fee works and whether it’s the best option for your injury claim. Contact us today.
(Mandatory Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.2 Notice: A client paying a contingent fee may be liable for the opposing parties’ fees and costs. Ask us for more information.)
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Adam S. Kutner
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
With more than 31 years of experience fighting for victims of personal injury in the Las Vegas valley, Attorney Adam S. Kutner knows his way around the Nevada court system and how to get clients their settlement promptly and trouble-free.
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