No Upfront Costs: Contingency Fees Explained

Scott Blumenshine

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Many people know that some attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. What is a contingency fee? What are the advantages of working with an attorney on a contingency basis?

An attorney working on a contingency basis does not charge an upfront retainer fee nor do they charge an hourly fee. The attorney will not charge you anything for taking on your case unless they successfully resolve your claim. This means that if you are hurt, you can take your case to a lawyer without worrying about the cost. If your case is resolved successfully, you will pay the attorney a percentage of the awarded amount.

Personal injury cases are typically taken on a contingency basis. On the other hand, other legal matters such as criminal cases, family law cases and many other types of cases are not handled on a contingency basis. Those who are injured by the negligence of someone else and wish to file a civil lawsuit will find many benefits that come from working with an attorney on a contingency basis. 

Contingency Fees are Fair

Guidelines for contingency fees are set by the individual state rules. These guidelines state that when an attorney agrees to work on contingency, he or she cannot charge unreasonable fees or expenses. As such, every attorney in the country that works on a contingency basis must offer a fair rate. When working with an attorney on contingency, you are assured that the agreement will be fair for both you and the attorney. 

Contingency Fees Level the Playing Field

Injured individuals are in a difficult situation. They often have mounting medical expenses for their injuries, and are often unable to work in order to pay for them. They may think they are entitled to compensation, but conversely may not have the money to pay for an attorney.

When you are in this situation, you may choose to pursue a claim on your own. However, the company you are going up against, whether it is a large corporation or an insurance company, is going to have teams of claim adjusters and lawyers working for them. It is practically impossible to go up against these attorneys on your own if you have a significant injury.

Contingency fees level the playing field. They allow you to get the experienced and qualified legal representation that can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. While your lawyer works on your case, you do not pay anything at all.

Contingency Fees Ensure Your Case is Strong

When attorneys work on contingency, they want to make sure any case they take on is strong. As such, they typically offer free consultations to review the facts of a case. During this consultation, an attorney will form an opinion on your case. They will determine if they can prove that someone else was negligent, and the range of  value of your injuries and losses. The attorney will also review other pertinent facts of your claim, such as insurance coverage.


If, after the initial consultation, an attorney decides to take your case, it is a good indicator that you have a strong case. Attorneys do not take cases they think they cannot win because working on contingency also means not collecting any fees unless your case is successful.

How Much are Contingency Fees?

Even after hearing of the benefits of contingency fees, many accident victims are still concerned with the amount of the fee. Generally speaking, contingency fees are approximately one-third of the total amount of compensation awarded, although the percentage charged can be higher or lower.


If you have been hurt and are considering a legal claim, it is important to discuss contingency fees during the initial consultation.

Speak to a Chicago Illinois Contingency Fee Attorney about Your Accident Case Today

If you have been injured in an accident that was the fault of someone else, do not let the fear of expensive legal representation keep you from pursuing a recovery. At the Blumenshine Law Group, our laser focus is on helping accident victims get the compensation they need to help pay for their medical bills, loss of income, and other damages. It is for this reason that our firm does not charge a fee until your case is resolved.

We do not get paid unless you do. Call or text us today at (312) 766-1000email us at [email protected]or contact us online for a free consultation so we can start discussing your case. 

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