How Can I Afford a Lawyer? Contingency Fees Explained

by Juliane Soprano

Many clients wait to hire an attorney or never hire one at all because they do not know how they will afford it.  Frequently, clients call in an “emergency” situation and are relieved to learn that we offer free consultations and in Workers’ Compensation and Social Security cases we charge what is called a “contingent fee”.

The essence of a contingent fee is that the client does not have to pay the lawyer by the hour and there is no “upfront” retainer.  Payment occurs at the conclusion of the litigation or the end of the case.   In a Worker’s Compensation case, this happens when a settlement is reached between the parties or when an agreement is entered into by the parties or ordered by a judge. In Social Security cases we are paid when a favorable decision is issued by the Social Security Administration or after an appeal.

The amount of the fee is a percentage of the gross amount received by the client.  In Workers’ Compensation cases the contingency fee is typically 20% of the settlement.  In Social Security cases the fee is usually 25% of the retroactive benefits, which is capped at a maximum of $6,000.00, whichever is less.  Expenses incurred in pursuit of the case, such as the cost of obtaining medical records or reports or fees paid to expert witnesses, are in addition to the attorney’s fee.

You may be wondering what happens if you do not win.  The answer is simple: we do not get paid.  As a result of this fee structure, you can be assured that we intend on winning and will do our utmost to achieve the best result for you, although success is never guaranteed.

Please don’t wait any longer, contact us today.  We can help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to and rightly deserve.  You can be assured that insurance companies and the government know their rights.  Don’t you deserve to know yours?