At the Law Offices of Brain Whitehead in Salem Oregon, all of our personal injury cases are done on a contingency fee basis. Put simply, that means that we don’t get paid if you don’t win your case. The rationale is to provide an equal access to justice. You don’t have to be wealthy to have an attorney represent you on a personal injury case.
Contingency fees provide many great advantages
Obviously, a contingency fee makes the attorney highly motivated to win, but it also leads to candor between the attorney and his clients on the merits of pursuing a case. I personally get frustrated with attorneys who get paid by the hour and cause trouble with the other side just so that they can make more money.
Contingency Fee VS Pay By The Hour
Attorneys, that are getting paid by the hour can be unjustifiably contentious in order to inflate their own bills. On the other hand attorneys that are paid on a contingency fee basis are likely to tell you if you do not have a meritorious case because they don’t want to waste time and money litigating a case that they’re going to lose.
In Oregon attorneys that do personal injury cases usually do them on a contingency fee basis. The customary fee is 1/3 of the settlement. If it goes to court the fee goes up to 40% and if we have to defend an appeal it goes up to 50% of the settlement or jury award.
By contrast, in some countries, like England for example, you have to pay your lawyer up front and a lot of people go without justice because they can’t afford attorneys fees and because a contingency fee is not allowed. I think ours is a much better system and I enjoy being a contingency fee attorney.
It should be noted that, by law, attorneys can not be responsible for filing fees, court costs, and expert witness fess. Those are costs that the client is ultimately responsible for although, we are allowed, and do often times front that money because our clients can’t afford it.
Don’t let lack of funds keep you from getting the benefits you deserve. If you have been injured and need an advocate on your side, contact us today for a free case review.