A Complete Guide to Contingency Fee Agreements


Many people do not pursue legitimate personal injury claims because they simply cannot afford to pay a lawyer. Depending on the strength of their case, though, many people have an option they are not aware of: Working out a contingency fee arrangement with Northridge injury lawyers. Here are the details of that type of an arrangement.

How It Works

Under a contingency fee, an injured person retains personal injury attorney to pursue their case without expending any money. They pay via a percentage on any settlement and in some cases, if the case goes into litigation. If no settlement or decision occurs, the injured person pays nothing.

When It is Applicable

Most cases do not qualify for any type of contingency fee agreement. This is because the interest of the attorney is to only go with a contingency fee if there is a very good chance they will prevail. The majority of the expenditures are fronted by the attorney, so their exposure is significant, which makes winning exceedingly important.


Contingency fees must be in writing, signed by the client, and state the method the fee will be determined. It also must define expenses, responsibilities, and the percentage that will be paid to the attorney. It is governed primarily by state and federal law as well as the American Bar Association’s Model Rules for Professional Conduct.


Rules prohibit a contingency fee being used in criminal or domestic relations cases. They are most often used with personal injury cases. This is because an attorney can review the entire case and make a determination whether it makes sense to carry the case forward. Most attorneys will not take a case that should not move forward, or one where the risk of failure is strong. They will also reject business, contract, and cases where the state of the plaintiff is open to subjective opinion. In some cases, a Northridge car accident attorney will accept a contingency fee if the case is particularly strong.

Percentage Taken

Depending on the agreement, the industry standard for a contingency fee is 33 percent. Most agreements will spell out attorney payment percentages for cases that go to arbitration, mediation, trial or other outcomes.

Contingency fees are one way an injured person can secure legal help without expending a lot of money. If you have been injured, you should look at Northridge injury lawyers and explore contingency fee options.

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