What are “Contingency Fees”? A Personal Injury Attorney at Reeder & Nussbaum, P.A. in St. Petersburg, FL Explains
When you hire a personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida, in all probability, he or she will agree to handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This particular arrangement is common in personal injury cases, and is advantageous to those who otherwise might not be able to afford professional legal representation. A contingency fee is one that you must pay only if your attorney handles your case successfully. For example, if you accept a money settlement or win at trial, your attorney fees will be deducted from the monetary award that you obtain. The reason why it is called a contingency fee is that your obligation to pay it is contingent upon your attorney’s ability to recover compensation for you. A contingency fee generally is a fixed percentage of the total monetary recovery. Although it’s often one-third, the percentage is open to negotiation.
In Florida, the details of a contingency fee arrangement between a personal injury attorney and her client must be spelled out in a written contingency fee agreement that is signed by both parties. The signed agreement must state the percentage of your recovery that your attorney will be allowed to keep. Whether you or your attorney will bear the responsibility for paying costs – e.g., court filing fees, expert witness fees, photocopying charges – is a topic that should be clearly addressed in the contingency fee agreement as well.
For more information about contingency fees, contact a personal injury attorney at the St. Petersburg, FL personal injury law firm of Reeder & Nussbaum, P.A.