Understanding Contingency Fees in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases can be complex and emotionally challenging for injured victims. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit often involves substantial costs, from legal fees to expert witnesses and court expenses. People injured by malpractice may be hesitant to take legal action due to financial concerns. However, one option that can alleviate these concerns is hiring an attorney who works on a contingency fee basis.

What is a Contingency Fee?

A contingency fee is a fee arrangement between an attorney and a client in which the attorney’s compensation is contingent on the outcome of the case. This means that the attorney only gets paid if they are successful in obtaining a favorable outcome for the client, typically in the form of a settlement or court-awarded damages.

In medical malpractice cases, the victims of medical negligence often face significant financial burdens due to medical bills, ongoing treatment, and lost wages. A contingency fee agreement can help these individuals pursue legal action without having to pay upfront legal fees.

Key Features of Contingency Fee Agreements in Medical Malpractice Cases

The following are the key features with a contingency fee agreement in a malpractice action:

  • No upfront fees: Clients do not have to pay their attorney upfront. Instead, the attorney’s fees are deducted from any settlement or court award obtained in the case.
  • Attorney’s fee percentage: Attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis for a percentage of the total recovery. This percentage may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the stage at which it is resolved. Common contingency fee percentages range from 25% to 40%, but they can vary by individual agreement.
  • Costs and expenses: While attorneys cover the upfront costs of pursuing a medical malpractice case (for example, court fees, expert witness fees, medical record retrieval), these costs are typically reimbursed from the client’s recovery. It is essential for clients to discuss cost arrangements with their attorney before proceeding.

Benefits of Contingency Fees in Medical Malpractice Cases

The following are the benefits of agreeing to a contingency fee:

  • Access to justice: Contingency fees enable individuals with limited financial resources to seek justice when they have suffered harm due to medical negligence.
  • Motivated attorneys: Attorneys working on a contingency fee basis are highly motivated to secure a favorable outcome for their clients since their own compensation depends on it.
  • Risk-sharing: Clients and attorneys share the financial risk of litigation. If the case is unsuccessful, the attorney does not receive a fee, which aligns their interests with the client’s goal of obtaining compensation.

Drawbacks and Considerations

The following are a few drawbacks with a contingency fee:

  • Higher fee percentage: Contingency fees may result in a higher fee percentage than what a client would pay with an hourly fee structure. However, this trade-off allows clients to pursue legal action without upfront costs.
  • Potential for conflicts of interest: In some cases, there may be a concern that attorneys working on a contingency fee basis could encourage clients to settle quickly, even if a higher settlement might be achievable through further litigation. This highlights the importance of selecting a trustworthy attorney.

Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC

Please know that our firm is here to help if you suffered an injury because of a medical professional’s malpractice. Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC provides free consultations to all our potential clients. The attorneys at our law firm also have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties in medical malpractice cases. They never back down to insurers and fight for their clients’ interests every step of the way. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal representation you deserve.

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