Why Do Lawyers Say They Get No Fee Unless There is a Recovery?
You don’t have to look very far to find some version of the phrase. Nonetheless, if you’ve never retained a lawyer before, it might seem a bit confusing. What exactly does “No Recovery, No Fee” actually mean? Think about it. How many professions do you know where compensation is reliant on the outcome? An emergency doctor does not receive a salary based on the number of patients he cures. Likewise, firefighters and police officers are not compensated by how many people they successfully rescue.
The legal dictionary discusses the meaning of “No Fee if No Recovery” fee arrangements between attorneys and their clients. This concept is also known as contingency agreements. In New Jersey, contingent fees are part of the Court Rules – specifically dealt with at Rule 1:21-7.
Personal injury attorneys use contingency fee agreements to make things easier for their clients. Take for example the young man who was knocked down as he crossed the street. From all appearances, he did nothing wrong – he was within the crosswalks and obeyed the light. As a student, he might worry about finding money to sue the person who hit him.
Meanwhile, the young man’s physical road to recovery should be his primary concern. An experienced personal injury attorney will review the facts of the case. In this particular instance, it appears that negligence falls on the driver who hit the injury victim. The lawyer will agree to take the case – offering a retainer agreement based on taking a percentage of the settlement or court award.
Some say that the “No Recovery, No Fee” mantra is a bit of a gamble. In some respects, it can be. Since nobody likes to work for nothing, personal injury attorneys may be a bit selective in taking cases with limited damages or questionable liability. Of course, there’s no way of telling that without a personal consultation.
Workers’ Compensation: No Fee, No Recovery
If you are pursuing a claim for work-related injuries, you should know that you will also not need to pay attorney’s fees up front. The same is true concerning the merits of your case. If your lawyer doesn’t secure money on your behalf, you won’t owe his or her firm any money.
Meanwhile, fees for workers’ compensation are computed differently than civil cases. The fee is split between you and the insurance company. It is limited to a maximum of 20 percent. Of importance is that the workers’ compensation judge actually sets the amount for attorneys’ fees.
Have questions regarding attorneys’ fees for personal injury cases? The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo has decades of experience handling matters on a contingent basis. Set up an appointment to see how we can help you.