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Do Personal Injury Lawyers Work on Contingency

Hartford Contingency Fee Lawyer

In most personal injury cases, a lawyer's services are offered on a "contingency fee" basis, which means the lawyer's fees for representing the client will be deducted from the final personal injury settlement in the client's case—or from the damages award after a favorable verdict, in the rare event that the client's case makes it all the way to court trial. If the client doesn't get a favorable outcome (doesn't get any money, in other words), then the lawyer collects no fees. Here's what you need to know before hiring a personal injury lawyer.

Contingency Fee Percentages

In the majority of cases, a Hartford, CT personal injury lawyer will receive 33 percent (or one third) of any settlement or award. For example, if you receive a settlement offer of $30,000 from the at fault party's insurance company, you will receive $20,000 and your lawyer will receive $10,000.  Connecticut has a statutory fee schedule for personal injury attorneys that sets out a sliding fee percentage depending upon how much money you recover.  You can as us about this at your free personal injury consultation.

Costs and Expenses

Most personal injury lawyers will cover case costs and expenses as they come up, and then deduct them from your share of the settlement or court award. It's rare for a personal injury lawyer to charge a client for costs and expenses as they become due.

Costs and expenses in a personal injury case include:

  • medical records
  • police reports
  • expert witness fees
  • postage
  • filing fees
  • investigators and experts
  • depositions 
  • transcripts, and
  • trial exhibits.

Your Lawyer Will Receive the Settlement Check

It is common practice for the settlement check in a Connecticut injury case to be sent to the lawyer. This ensures that your lawyer will get paid for his or her services. Many personal injury lawyers only take contingency cases and, therefore, risk not getting paid if they do not receive the settlement check. The lawyer will contact you when he or she receives the settlement check, and should provide an itemized list of what he or she deducts from your settlement check to cover lawyer's fees, costs, and expenses. If you dispute certain charges, the lawyer may place the disputed amount in a trust account until the issue is resolved.

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