Explore How Contingency Fees Work in New Jersey and the Benefits of this Payment Arrangement for Your Personal Injury Case
After suffering an injury and receiving large medical bills and possibly losing money from time off of work, the last thing you want to think about is having to spend even more money in the form of legal fees just to recover compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one is currently experiencing this stress, you have at least one reason to exhale—personal injury lawyers in New Jersey typically work on a contingency fee basis.
In this article, our New Jersey personal injury lawyers will discuss what a contingency fee is, how it works in New Jersey, and the benefits of this type of fee arrangement.
Contingency Fees in a Nutshell: You only Pay If You Win
When a lawyer is paid a contingency fee basis in a personal injury case, it means that they will be paid a percentage of the monetary compensation you receive in the form of a settlement or court judgment. You do not need to pay them any legal fees upfront or out of pocket. If you do not win your case, then you do not owe any legal fees. You also will not need to spend a large portion of the money you receive to pay your lawyer because their fee is a set percentage of the total settlement or judgment ordered by a judge.
Lawyers’ Fixed Percentage Established by New Jersey Law
New Jersey law sets a fee structure for lawyers’ contingency fees based on the amount of the settlement or judgment. For the first $500,000 of compensation, a lawyer may charge a fee of 33.33%. For the second $500,000 of compensation, they may charge only 30%. A fee of 25% may apply to the third $500,000 of compensation and a lawyer may only charge a fee of 25% on the fourth $500,000 of compensation and any payments exceeding that amount.
Benefits of a Contingency Fee Arrangement when Filing a Lawsuit for Personal Injury
There are many benefits to working with a personal injury lawyer on a contingency basis, the most obvious of which is minimizing your own risk in paying legal fees upfront. In other types of legal cases, it is common for a lawyer to require a large retainer fee that they keep in their attorney-client trust account and deduct from to pay themselves as they bill you hourly for their services. Not only can this be very expensive, which may deter some individuals who cannot afford the upfront costs from retaining the help of a lawyer or bringing a claim at all, but there is no guarantee that you will win your claim and recover that investment.
When you work with an attorney on a contingency fee basis, you are not at risk of being out of money if your claim is not successful. Your lawyer will only get paid if you do. Furthermore, while your lawyer has a fiduciary duty to seek the best outcome for you in your case, in a contingency fee arrangement, your lawyer also has a personal interest in maximizing the amount of recovery you receive. For this reason, a lawyer will also vet your case carefully before taking it on. Therefore, when a personal injury lawyer takes your personal injury case, you can have confidence that they believe you are likely to be successful in obtaining a favorable settlement or verdict for monetary damages.
Advancing the Costs for Additional Resources to Create the Best Chance of Winning
Depending on the facts of your case, your personal injury lawyer may also be willing to advance the costs of hiring an expert witness to provide an opinion to support your claims. They may also help advantage other costs associated with your case like court fees, depositions, and smaller fees like postage.
Enlisting the Help of a Personal Injury Lawyer who Works on a Contingency Fee Basis
While every personal injury case is different and involves unique facts and circumstances, the insurance claim process and personal injury litigation involve many commonalities between cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer deals with insurance companies, opposing counsel, discovery, depositions of expert witnesses, and personal injury trials every day. They know what to expect from the process and how to navigate it to recover the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Whereas insurance companies and their defense attorneys will often try to take advantage of individuals who are not represented by a lawyer by offering them a much lower settlement amount or even no compensation at all, it is much less likely that they will try to play those games when they know you are represented by a skilled attorney who will quickly defend your rights and hold them accountable for your injuries.
Contact our Personal Injury Lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson Today
If you have been injured in an accident due to the negligent actions of another party, you deserve to be made whole again for your medical bills, injuries, disabilities, and time off from work. Call our team of knowledgeable New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson today for a complimentary consultation to determine if you may have a case for financial damages after an injury in a slip and fall, car accident, premises liability, dog bite, child sports-related injuries, or due to a defective product.
Our renowned law firm with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania works on a contingency fee basis, utilizing over 50 years’ experience to recover top monetary compensation for injured victims in Princeton, Pennington, Titusville, Hamilton, Ewing, Hopewell, Burlington, West Windsor, Trenton, and throughout Burlington and Mercer County.