If you are dealing with a lawsuit or claim, you probably want the help of a skilled attorney. The benefits of hiring a lawyer are that you will have a skilled and experienced person fighting for you. The negatives are that legal fees can add up quickly. If you cannot afford to pay a lawyer hourly during your case, a contingency fee agreement could be your best option.

A contingency fee is a form of payment for services rendered. Your attorney will agree to work your case without payment for the time being. If you win your case and are awarded compensation, you will owe your lawyer a percentage of the damages you recover. Their payment is contingent on helping you win your case.

To speak with an attorney and get more information on your options as a client, contact an experienced Pikeville, KY personal injury attorney.

How Much Will a Contingency Fee Cost Me?

It is hard to say how much money you will end up owing your lawyer if you choose to use a contingency fee agreement. Every agreement will be unique to your situation and your relationship with your attorney.

You and your lawyer will agree to a percentage of your future compensation. Standard percentages for contingency fees can range from 30% to 60% depending on the case. The most common agreement is 33% but depending on the complexity of the case it could be more. You may also agree to a sliding scale for the fee, for example, your lawyer may be owed 45% of the first $10,000 recovered and then 35% of the remaining amount.

What you end up paying your attorney will depend on the percentage you agree on and the actual amount of compensation you recover during your case.

When Should I Use a Contingency Fee Agreement?

A contingency fee agreement might be the right move for you if you do not have the financial ability to pay for a lawyer upfront but require their services. Consider hiring a lawyer using a contingency fee when dealing with a personal injury case, sexual harassment case, class action lawsuit, employment discrimination case, and more.

Your lawyer cannot work for you on a contingent-based agreement during a criminal trial or family law case.

What Are the Pros and Cons?

Some people support the use of contingency fee agreements while others criticize them. There are pros and cons to its use. Whether or not a contingency fee agreement is right for you will depend on your financial situation and the details of your case.


  • No fees upfront
  • Incentive for lawyer
  • Increased compensation
  • No lawyer fees if you lose your case


  • You could end up paying more than you would have hourly, for example, if your case gets resolved very quickly
  • Depending on your case, the percentage of lawyer compensation could be high
  • You may have to pay some administrative fees even if you lose your case