What Does “Contingency Fee” Mean?

A “contingency fee” is an arrangement between a lawyer and a client where a lawyer agrees to get paid for legal services rendered if he or she secures a favorable decision for you. In a few words, it means “no win for you, no fee for us.” 

If you’re reading this article because you’re contemplating filing a personal injury lawsuit, you might want to continue reading.

The basics

Unlike in hourly-billed services, a contingency fee arrangement allows a lawyer to receive a percentage of the monetary award his or her client receives when they win or settle their case. This practice is most common in personal injury cases where a successful lawyer’s customary fee ranges from 20% to 50% of the recoverable amount, depending on the complexity of your case.
The more complex your case is, the more likely you will have a higher contingency fee. On the other hand, a relatively straightforward case that’s highly likely to end in recovery may result in a lower contingency fee percentage.
Most states in the United States, including Georgia, prohibit contingency fee agreements in domestic relations because allowing attorneys to base their fee on a divorce or child custody case would create a risk of the attorney having a financial interest in the outcome. The same prohibition applies to the representation of defendants in criminal cases to prevent lawyers from being tempted to assist or condone illegal behavior.

Under the Georgia State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct, a contingency fee must be in writing. It must state how the fee is determined, the percentage or percentages paid to the attorney when the case settles, expenses deducted from recovery, and whether such expenses are deducted before or after the contingency fee is calculated.

Even if an attorney is willing to work under a contingency agreement, there are always costs associated with bringing a personal injury lawsuit that may be deducted before or after the contingency fee is finalized.
For example, your lawyer was able to recover a settlement of $100,000 from the insurance company of the at-fault party. If the contingency agreement specifies that the lawyer will get 25% of the compensation, your lawyer will receive $25,500, and you’ll receive $75,000, assuming no litigation costs need reimbursement.


The exact amount your attorney gets paid will depend mainly on the complexity and risk involved in your case. Personal injury attorneys usually take cases if they believe it’s compensable.


Contingency fee agreements gain praise for their financial accessibility. Since attorney fees get deducted from recovered claims, there is no need to worry about upfront or growing expenses before and while the case runs. 

It allows those seeking to pursue a civil claim the ability to without financial concerns.

Low risk, high reward

A contingency arrangement shifts the financial impact and burden of responsibility from you as the client to the lawyer. Even if you lose, you will not have to pay for work done on the case. 

Your lawyer will fight tooth and nail for you.

Since your lawyer has nothing to gain unless you win, you can rest assured that your case will receive the attention and effort it deserves. Ensuring you will get the best possible settlement for your case. If no settlement is reached with the insurance company,  we may take your case to trial and fight for what you deserve.

Our law firm’s track record of exceeding client expectations has earned us a reputation for excellence. As experienced attorneys, we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have suffered injuries due to various personal injury accidents and cases. Our ultimate goal is to promptly get the maximum amount of compensation you deserve for your injury, whether through a settlement or taking your case to court if a settlement isn’t possible.

For more information on how you can file a personal injury claim, learn about our no win, no fee guarantee, or schedule a free consultation, contact the experienced trial attorneys at Council & Associates immediately.

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