Many lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee simply means the lawyer doesn’t charge upfront for services rendered. Instead, the attorney is paid a portion of the money awarded from the pending lawsuit. The money could be the result of an out of court settlement or a judge’s order. If you do not win the case, your attorney is not paid.
According to Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, criminal and domestic relations cases cannot be handled on a contingency basis. In these instances, the lawyer will bill hourly or charge a flat fee. Most cases tried on a contingency basis are personal injury claims. Personal injury is a type of civil law in which injured or ill individuals are compensated for their condition by the party or parties liable. Types of personal injury cases include:
Motor vehicle accidents
Slip and fall incidents
When working with an attorney on a contingency basis, be certain the terms of the agreement are clearly outlined. Your Oklahoma City personal injury lawyer should be upfront and honest about the percentage he or she will receive at the end of the case. Be sure to get to estimates of all court costs and related expenses. Find out if extra expenses are included in the lawyer’s fee.
Oklahoma law requires the client and the attorney to sign a written contingency fee agreement when representation commences. At the end of the case, the lawyer must provide the client with a written statement outlining the outcome of the matter, the client’s award and the attorney’s fee. He or she must show how the figures were determined. A car accident lawyer in Oklahoma City can explain all the ins and outs of contingency fees.