Phone: 203.234.8408 E-Mail: ajlunn@yournorthhavenlawyer.com

Can You Afford An Attorney for Your Personal Injury Case?

The answer is YES!  The Attorney works on a contingency-fee basis. 

What is a Contingency Fee?

In, Connecticut, if you do not make a recovery in a personal injury case, your attorney does not get paid.  The attorney’s fee in a personal injury, wrongful death or property damage case is contingent or based upon whether or not you recover and how much you recover.  The agreement you sign with your lawyer when you start the case is, therefore, called a contingency fee agreement.  Aside from attorney’s fees, the only other potential expenses are the costs associated with pursuing your case  – you are responsible for the costs regardless of the outcome of the case (for examples of the types of costs see “What if I don’t win my case ?” below)

How much do I have to pay my Attorney?

If there is a settlement or award by the court, the attorney is paid on a percentage basis.  There is a section of  the Connecticut General Statutes which specifies the percentage the attorney can take based upon the total amount recovered. The percentages specified by the statute are the percentages that are normally used in a personal injury case.  If you would like to read the statute governing the fees, go to: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/pub/Chap901.htm#Sec52-251c.htm

On occasion, an attorney may review a case and find that handling the case may entail an extraordinary amount of work or involve a tremendous amount of research.  In that case, the attorney may ask the client if they would be willing to waive the percentages (on the percentages) set forth in the statutes.  It is the client’s right to either agree to waive the limitations or to find another attorney who would be willing to work under the percentages set out in the statute.

What if I don’t win my case?

If for some unforeseen reason there is no settlement or award at the end of the case, the attorney is NOT ENTITLED TO A FEE.  The only expenses that you are responsible for regardless of the outcome of the case are any costs associated with pursuing your case. Generally, if the case is settled prior to filing a lawsuit, the costs are minimal.  At this stage, potential costs may include fees incurred for obtaining medical or hospital records, police reports or photographs of something related to the case.   If a lawsuit is filed, then you may be responsible for additional expenses such as court filing fees, marshal services, etc..  The costs in a case are generally very reasonable and affordable.  Talk to your attorney about any concerns you might have at the beginning of your case.

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