A contingency fee contract is a type of payment to your attorney that only occurs when you receive some kind of monetary recovery in your case.  In other words, you pay the lawyer a fee only if the case settles, or you win at trial.  Stated another way, with a contingency fee, payment for your attorney's services is "contingent upon" your receiving some amount of compensation.  Usually, the attorney will take an agreed-upon percentage of your recovery. This percentage is often around 1/3 or 33%, but the exact amount your attorney gets paid will depend on a variety of factors.  The most important factor is the complexity of the case, and the risk involved.  The more risky or complex a case is, the higher contingency fee percentage  (often between 35% to 40%).  In some instances, the case will involve a lower fee.

It is always important to talk to the attorney about the fee, and how it is calculated.  You should also know how costs (expenses like filing fees, expert witness charges, deposition costs) are handled.  If you don't know the answer from the contract, BE SURE TO ASK!

At our firm, we help every client decide what fee agreement makes sense for them and their case.  If another option makes more sense for the client, we will be sure to give you that choice!