The words contingency fee are not always easily understood. It means that there is no fee owed unless an event occurs (the contingency). In personal injury cases this means the recovery of money, either by settlement or Verdict. No fee is paid until money is recovered.
This type of fee opens the doors to the court house for the average person. You might not be able to afford a fee of $150 to $300 per hour with no guarantee of the outcome. But a contingency fee allows you to hire an attorney and only pay him for results.
Expenses of law claims are separate.
If the attorney is willing to advance expenses for medical reports, records, depositions, they are recoverable, by the attorney from you. The attorney contract may call for these expenses to be recovered whether there is a recovery or not. The contract is also allowed to state that unless there is a recovery, you do not have to pay back the expenses the attorney advanced. This is a matter for you to discuss with your attorney and should be put in the written contract.
Some lawyers are unwilling to advance their own money. I generally will advance litigation expenses up to a point, but if a client wants to gamble on trying the case when there is a fair offer on the table then I expect them to invest their own money.
In Ohio, the contract must be in writing and you should receive a copy. If you have any questions regarding attorney’s fees or my fees in particular, feel free to call Castelli Law Firm at 800.447.6549 today!