What is a Contingency Fee?

A. This is how your attorney is paid for their work on your case.

Some people may be hesitant to hire a lawyer for their nursing home lawsuit because they are afraid of what the attorney may cost them. The good news is that, when you are suing a nursing home for personal injury or wrongful death, you do not have to lay out any money out of your pocket. This is because your lawyer is paid on a contingency basis.

A contingency fee is a percentage of your proceeds from the case that your lawyer will take as payment for their efforts. This could come from a settlement that you enter into with the nursing home after a lawsuit or out of an award made to you by the jury. You sign an agreement with your lawyer at the time that you select them to represent you in your nursing home lawsuit. The agreement is required to specify the attorney’s fee that they will receive for their representation.

When it comes to a contingency fee, it only must be paid if you are successful in your case. Success means that you have recovered some type of money from the nursing home. If you lose your case, you do not have to worry about having to pay legal fees to an attorney that can cause you financial problems. Simply stated, if you are being represented on a contingency basis, you do not have to pay anything to the lawyer if you are not successful. However, you would still have to pay the court filing fees and some costs related to the case.

Of course, you are probably wondering if there is anything that could keep the lawyer from taking the lion’s share of your money if you are successful in your case. The answer to this is that lawyers are required to follow rules of their own when they represent you. These rules of professional conduct apply to all lawyers who practice in a state. The rules prohibit them from charging you an unreasonable fee for their services. Thus, they could not turn around and take nearly all of what you receive from the nursing homes.

The contingency fee will be agreed upon at the time you retain the lawyer. This agreement is signed and the fee remains throughout the case, and the attorney cannot change it once they realize how much money your case is worth or for any other reason.

If you are wondering how much the contingency fee is, it is usually roughly one third of the amount that you recover. There may be some variances between lawyers and the fee can range from 25 to 40 percent. Some contingency fees are on a sliding scale, meaning that that the lawyer’s fee would change depending on how much you ultimately recover from the nursing home. Other attorneys may have an agreement whereby they would charge you a higher percentage if your case goes to trial than if it ends up settling out of court. This is because trials require a lot more preparation and investment of time and effort, and it needs to be worth the risk that the lawyer is taking by going all the way to a jury with your case.

The attorney’s contingency fee will impact their calculations as to whether they will decide to accept your case. Bear in mind that if they expend countless hours on your case that go unpaid, it dramatically impacts their income and their ability to pay their own bills. Therefore, if they think that your case is not strong, they will not accept it. This makes it even more important to make sure that you bring everything that you can to you initial meeting with the attorney and present your case to them in the clearest manner possible.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric