A contingency fee is an arrangement for paying an attorney a percentage of the money obtained for the client after settling or winning a case, instead of paying by the hour or by the job. Contingency fee arrangements are most common in personal injury cases. The contingency fee for a successful attorney ranges from 20% to 50% of the amount recovered. Attorneys may not charge contingency fees when representing defendants in criminal cases and are rarely permitted in family law cases.
Since personal injury cases are the types of cases that commonly involve contingency fee arrangements, you should look for a personal injury lawyer. If the case involves anything other than a personal injury, it is unlikely that an attorney will take the case on a contingency basis.
You can find a personal injury lawyer through one of the two largest online listings of attorneys: Martindale.com and Lawyers.com. At Martindale, you can look for an attorney by name, firm, location, and by specialty. At Lawyers.com, you are asked whether you are a personal user or business user, and then asked to choose the type of lawyer from a drop down menu. You are also asked to select the country, city, county, and state for the attorney. Once you have made your choices, both sites will provide a selection of attorneys who meet your requirements. The listings on these sites provide information about the attorney’s education, memberships, publications, location, and area(s) of practice. Only those attorneys and firms that have elected to be listed on these sites are so listed.
All attorneys are licensed by the state or states in which they practice. After determining the state from which you need an attorney, you might want to narrow your search by going directly to the bar association for that state. The American Bar Association’s Web Site provides access to each state’s bar association and local bar associations. Most state bar associations and local bar associations have legal referral programs through which members of the public can contact the associations and be referred to a local attorney. You can then request a personal injury lawyer from the state or local bar association.