The Difference Between Contingency Fees and Pro Bono
- November 15, 2022
Wondering which type of arrangement will suit your claim for compensation? Here is everything you should know about the difference between pro bono and contingency fee cases.
Those on a low income should not have to endure pain and suffering after an accident just because they could not afford a lawyer. Fortunately, there are ways that you can claim compensation, even if you do not have the money to hire a lawyer. There are two main ways this happens. One is through finding a lawyer willing to take on your case pro bono. The other is through finding a lawyer that operates on a contingency fee basis.
We know it sounds complicated, but we explain what each is below. We also cover how you can find a lawyer offering those payment plans.
What is a Contingency Fee?
A contingency fee is the kind of deal that a lawyer offers to entice clients to hire them. Often, this works to entice low-income clients to pursue claims for personal injury. In this situation, the lawyer performs the duties associated with the case. They will give you their fee after the case. Usually, this means taking a portion of a settlement amount.
For example, if you broke your arm after tripping on a sinkhole in the sidewalk, you could sue the company or state office responsible for maintaining that sidewalk. If you received $20,000 for your injury and medical expenses, the lawyer might take $5,000 on a 25% contingency fee arrangement. It might sound like a bad deal, but without the lawyer, you would get far less. Remember, the opposition will have a team of lawyers, too.
How Do You Find a Lawyer that Accepts Contingency Fees?
There are many lawyers who offer this arrangement. Whenever you see the words “no win, no fee” the deal described is a contingency plan. You can visit this personal injury lawyer’s website to learn more about contingency fees, or to find out about no win, no fee claims.
What is Pro Bono?
Pro Bono is only half the phrase. The full phrase is Latin: “Pro Bono Publico.” This means “for the good of the public.” The phrase denotes the completion of a (usually legal) task for the benefit of the public instead of one’s own purse. The Latin phrase is specific to law, but the shortened version “Pro Bono” entered popular culture some time ago. To do something pro bono simply means to do it for free in popular culture. In the legal profession, lawyers do pro bono work for clients on low incomes to build client portfolios and to gain experience in their field. Large law firms earn reputations through pro bono cases.
How Do You Find a Pro Bono Lawyer?
Pro bono lawyers are far harder to find than contingency lawyers. If you insist on this choice, you may also end up with a student. They will have the supervision of a professor, though. Visit your local law school or call the local court for a list of attorneys taking on pro bono cases. Next, call them and ask if they will take on your case. You might get lucky. If not, there are always contingency plans.