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Unlike most lawyers, we take the majority of our cases on a contingent-fee basis. To be fair, we are not alone and lots of lawyers work on contingency, although not that many in intellectual property infringement cases. We are frequently attacked as ambulance chasers and worse. But the reality is that the contingent-fee lawyer is the only lawyer who really has your best interests in mind. Invariably, the arguments against contingent-fee lawyers come from hourly-billing lawyers who are perfectly willing to fight your case to your last dime, regardless of how unlikely you are to win.
There are many different kinds of injuries that are handled by personal injury lawyers and some lawyers specialize in certain types of cases. The most common kinds of personal injury claims include the following:
- Traffic accidents involving cars and trucks (which can also include motorcycle accidents and bus collisions)
- Work-related accidents (including those that involve workers’ compensation or workman’s compensation claims)
- Slip and fall accidents
- Injuries suffered as a result of an assault
- Accidents occurring in someone’s home
- Product liability (defective product manufacture or design defects)
- Medical malpractice claims (negligence by doctors, medical staff, dental accidents which can also include injuries to the brain, head, and spine, and to children during child birth)
- Toxic torts or industrial disease claims, such as injuries resulting from asbestos, mesothelioma, lead poisoning, chest related diseases (which includes emphysema, pneumoconiosis, silicosis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic obstructive airways disease)
- Job-related stress disorders (such as deafness, occupational stress, contact dermatitis, and repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome)
This means that the law firm will work on your case and usually advance the expenses of litigation, but will not charge you unless and until they recover money damages for you.
Yes, most of the time as you’ve just read. There are a few exceptions when a law firm might not pay up-front expenses of a personal injury lawsuit. The first instance is when the case is not very strong but the client still wishes to go ahead with the lawsuit. An attorney may not wish to undertake all the high financial risk of a tenuous case by paying all the up-front expenses and relying only on a contingency fee. Another instance occurs where a reasonable settlement offer is made to the client but the client refuses to accept the offer against the advice of the law firm. If the client wishes to continue to pursue the case in the hope of receiving more money, the client will need to pay for future expenses and may be required to reimburse the law firm for prior expenses.
No, you will not owe the firm/attorney anything if we don’t win your case, this is a gamble that the firm takes and must consider when taking a new case.