Why A Contingency Fee Arrangement For Attorney’s Fees Makes Sense In A Maryland Personal Injury Case ?
A contingency fee arrangement is one that by is very nature is dependent on the outcome- and indeed the successful outcome- of a personal injury matter. As attorney Eric T. Kirk will tell you, under this time-honored arrangement, the client agrees to pay his or her chosen attorney an agreed upon percentage from any financial recovery arising from a personal injury claim. By its very terms, the agreement provides that if there is no successful outcome to the case – that is if there is no financial recovery- then the client owes no attorney’s fee. This is the contingent aspect of the arrangement. Some of the benefits for the injured client are obvious.
- An person who has sustained injury might be unable to work due to those conditions and lack the funds to pay counsel of their choosing a large retainer or an hourly attorney’s fees.
- The attorney agrees to work for free until the conclusion of the case and moreover agrees to be paid only if he or she successfully prosecutes the claim for personal injury.
Other benefits might not be as obvious. In a contingency fee arrangement, the interests of the client and the lawyer are uniquely and -indeed totally- aligned. The portion of a personal injury award that is retained by the client is compensation. The portion of the award that is retained by the attorney is called revenue.
In any Maryland personal injury matter the injured person seeks, desires and is entitled to monetary redress for their injuries from an at fault party. Maryland personal injury attorneys are in the business of representing those who have suffered that misfortune- and representing them successfully. Attorneys, of course, want to be paid for their labor, for bringing their knowledge, training and experience to bear on any matter.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but law firms that do not generate business revenue do not remain in business. So in every real sense, it is more than simply a desire on the part of the attorney to be “compensated”- it is rather a business necessity for that lawyer to produce revenue to keep his or her practice operating. In order to generate that additional revenue, an attorney must secure additional compensation for his or her client. The higher the award or settlement figure the more revenue the lawyer’s firm receives, and conversely, the lower the judgment, verdict or settlement, the less revenue a lawyer generates. In my opinion it is this unique alignment of need and desire for compensation for the inured, and the financial and business interests of their chosen counsel that makes the contingency fee arrangement for personal injury cases ideally suited to serve the interests of the injured.