Contingency Fees Explained

What They Are & Why They Matter in Your New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Case

Those of you who have been reading my blog or visiting my website over the years, or with whom I’ve had the good fortune to work, will recognize that I often remind you that my firm offers free consultations for bikers who have been involved in accidents.

motorcycle-lawyer-contingency-feesYou may have also seen the phrase “contingency fee,” floating around. If you have had an accident and are searching for a New Jersey motorcycle accident attorney to represent you, you will almost certainly have run across this term.

If you’re not as steeped in the legal field as I am, you’re probably wondering what it means, how it allows a lawyer to offer free consultations, how it factors into the way I get paid, and most importantly, what it means for your claim.

Let’s dig in and find out.

Motorcycle Lawyer Contingency Fee Defined

When something is “contingent”, it is dependent on chance or on the fulfillment of a condition. So a contingency fee is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

It’s a type of client-lawyer fee arrangement wherein the attorney is paid a percentage of the awarded damages, contingent upon him or her winning your case. If the case is lost, the attorney does not get paid.

The motivating idea behind this arrangement is that it allows everyday people access to the legal system, because there’s no up-front cost to the client. It’s a powerful “small-d democratic,” concept; regardless of one’s wealth or standing, we should all have equal opportunity to seek justice when we feel we’ve been wronged.

This appeals to me as an NJ motorcycle accident lawyer with a focus on protecting your rights. I understand that most bikers don’t necessarily have a high-powered attorney on retainer just in case they get a boo-boo. Contingency fees allow these hard-working folks to recover the damages they are owed.

From a purely practical standpoint, an arrangement of this type may allow you to earn a larger recovery because your attorney will be anxious to get paid as much and as quickly as possible. It’s one of those rare win-win situations.

New Jersey Contingency Fee Cap

Most states cap the allowed percentage of the award going to the lawyer at 40% or 45%. In our state there is a 33% cap on these arrangements for injured adults, and a 25% cap for injured minors.

To break it down for you in real life terms, let’s say you have a motorcycle vs. car accident and we win a total award of $50,000. Let’s further assume we had $5,000 in case expenses. That leaves your net recovery at $45,000. My fee in this case would be $15,000, and your take home would be $30,000.

The amount of this recovery will be decided based on either how much the other driver’s insurance provider is willing to settle for, or by how much a jury is willing to award based on the strength of our case and taking into account your pain and suffering, medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and so forth.

As you can see, this arrangement provides a strong incentive for me to fight hard to win your case. To put it in the most basic of terms, the larger the settlement, the more we both get paid.

From your perspective, you want an attorney with experience, tenacity, connections, and a track record of success. As it turns out this describes me to a T.

If you have further questions about how an experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer can leverage this system to your advantage, contact Lee Gaber, Esquire now at 1-888-292-5352, for more information.