December 13, 2019 in Personal Injury
A no win no fee arrangement is a common course of action for personal injury attorneys. In a no win no fee case, if you do not receive any damages, you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees. Some attorneys refer to this arrangement as a “conditional” fee arrangement.
At Gordon & Gordon, we understand that a personal injury might leave our clients unable to pay any fees at first. In this post, we will explain the finer points of a no win no fee arrangement, how it works, and answer some common questions.
What Does No Win No Fee Mean?
Most of the time, clients pursuing a personal injury claim are not able to pay attorney’s fees upfront. In essence, if your personal injury attorney does not obtain any damages for you in court, you will not have to pay a fee for their services.
The idea behind this arrangement is that anyone, regardless of their financial background, can retain excellent legal service. When you sustain an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence and you need legal representation, whether or not you can pay steep legal fees upfront should not matter.
Some of the advantages of a no win no fee arrangement are:
- Less risk and a higher level of compensation
- If you lose, you’re no worse off than you were before
- Many no win no fee claims are successful
- There is no reason not to attempt your no win no fee claim.
This last bullet is the most important element. If you win a no win no fee claim, your attorney gets their fees and you get the remainder as your damages. If you lose, while you do not receive compensation for your personal injury claim, you will also not suffer any further financial injury.
How Does A No Win No Fee Claim Work?
If you reach a no win no fee agreement with your attorney, they will front the costs of your case. These types of costs can include:
- Court fees
- Medical reports
- General expenses
If you win your case, your lawyer will take a pre-arranged percentage of the damages the court awards you as their contingency fee. This will cover all the costs the lawyer absorbed while they were working on your case.
The legal term for the fee in a no win no fee case is “contingency fee”.
As we said, a contingency fee is a percentage of the damages the court awards you in your personal injury case. In a no win no fee case, the lawyer getting their fees is contingent on them winning your case.
How Do Lawyers Determine Their Contingency Fee?
Lawyer’s fees will vary from case to case. It will depend on the time they spend on the case as well as the complexity of the case.
But in a no win no fee arrangement, your personal injury attorney will explain their fees to you after they have assessed your case. You will not receive any surprise bills or hidden fees once you receive your damages.
How Do I Know If My Claim Will Be Successful?
The short answer is that you don’t. But at Gordon & Gordon, we will not advise you to enter a no win no fee arrangement unless we are reasonably sure it will succeed.
This is a question we get all the time. Of course, lawyers are not the only ones who need to win a case to get their fees. You need those damages as well. This is why it is wise to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you sustain the injury in question. Seek medical attention first, and then contact an attorney.
Making A No Win No Fee Claim
No win no fee simply refers to your arrangement with your personal injury attorney. Otherwise, your claim will follow the same simple steps as any other personal injury case.
We can break down the process of personal injury claims with Gordon & Gordon into three simple steps.
You can schedule an initial consultation with Gordon & Gordon at any of our offices. We have locations in Shreveport, Bossier, and Mansfield, Louisiana. During this consultation, our personal injury experts will assess your case and advise you accordingly.
Gordon & Gordon will research the circumstances surrounding your claim, and gather the documents necessary to file it. This will generally involve obtaining your medical records so that there is proof of your injuries.
Many personal injury clients worry that they will have to attend a trial. This is very rare. The majority of personal injury claims reach a settlement outside the courtroom.
When someone else is liable for your injuries, their insurance company is responsible for paying your damages. Using our knowledge of prior personal injury cases, we will work with you and determine a dollar amount that you feel will compensate you for your injuries.
The other party’s insurance policy will be doing the same thing. If the two numbers don’t match up, we will negotiate on your behalf until we arrive at an appropriate number for both sides. Only if the two parties cannot reach an agreement will the case go to trial.
If we do go to trial, Gordon & Gordon will call witnesses and present evidence of your injuries. In a personal injury trial, we must also prove that the injuries were the result of a specific accident and that that accident was the result of the other party’s negligence.
But as we said, a personal injury case going to trial is very rare. More than likely if the facts are reasonably clear, the parties will be able to reach an agreement.
Call Gordon & Gordon
At Gordon & Gordon, there is no fee unless we win in a personal injury case. To discuss your personal injury claim with us, call 318.716.HELP. Lines are available 24/7. You can also send us a message directly to begin the consultation process by filling out the form on this page.