A: There are two primary ways to pay your Pennsylvania lawyer (although one method is used more often than the other). The first method pays your lawyer solely upon the amount of time that he devotes to your case.  The time is billed at an hourly rate. Often, there will be an advance fee or retainer paid before the case begins and invoices will be issued to you periodically as the case proceeds. The downside of this approach is that you must pay in advance and as the case is being prepared (that is, before any recover or settlement is made). Many people do not have adequate savings to pay a lawyer in this manner.  Also, people who are harmed by a careless car or truck driver often experience an interruption or reduction in their earnings because they miss work, remain in the hospital or in a rehabilitation program, or work less due to their physical problems.  Thus, the second method, the contingent fee agreement, is the far more common way to pay lawyers who pursue justice for people harmed by inattentive drivers.

A contingent fee agreement requires the lawyer to work on your Pennsylvania accident case without payment either in advance or during the preparation of your case. The fee is based on the results obtained, and fees are not paid as the lawyer prepares the case. Instead, the lawyer's fee (if any) is paid only at the end of your case and is set as a percentage of your recovery.  If there is no recovery, then you don't pay the lawyer any fee at all.

A fee agreement must be in writing and should be signed before your lawyer begins work on your case. You should be sure to read and understand the agreement before signing.  In addition to the fee, you also will be required to reimburse the lawyer for so called "out-of-pocket" expenses incurred to hire investigators, expert witnesses, stenographers or to file papers with the Court.  These expenses often must be reimbursed, even if you lose your case and don't pay the lawyer any fee.

For more information on this and other auto accident subjects, order our free, no-obligation book " The Ultimate Guide to Car Accident Cases in Pennsylvania: A Roadmap to Justice."  If you'd prefer just to go straight to a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania injury lawyer, use our contact form link or call us today at 814-580-5017.