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One of the biggest concerns a lot of our clients have when considering filing a lawsuit is how much their attorney is going to charge. Up-front attorney fees and hidden costs can add up to the point where hiring a lawyer is prohibitively expensive.

At Stewart + Harmonson, we don’t get paid until YOU get paid. We charge what’s called a “contingency fee,” which means we won’t charge you a dime until we’ve gotten you a settlement or won your case in court.

So how exactly do contingency fees work? And why should you hire an attorney who works on contingency over anyone else? From experienced New Mexico catastrophic injury lawyers Stewart + Harmonson, here’s everything you need to know.

What is a contingency fee?

At Stewart + Harmonson, we charge our clients a contingency fee. A contingency fee is a percentage of the total amount you win in your case. That means we won’t charge you until you have won a final settlement or judgment from the at-fault party.

For example, let’s say you’re injured in a highway accident involving an 18-wheeler.

Here’s how the process will go:

  • We investigate the accident, collect evidence supporting your claim, and negotiate with the trucking company’s insurance agency.
  • If they offer a settlement providing the full compensation you deserve, we’ll settle, and then we’ll take a percentage of that settlement as a fee.
  • However, if they don’t provide an adequate settlement, we take the trucking company to court. We present all our evidence to a jury, and argue why they should award you full compensation for your losses.
  • Once they award you a settlement or judgment, we’ll take a percentage of that settlement as our fee.

Why should I hire a lawyer who works on contingency?

Other law firms might not work on contingency. These law firms might charge you an upfront fee, which means you’ll have to shell out cash in order to get them to represent you. 

Never hire an injury lawyer for an upfront fee.  If a lawyer tries to charge you up front, it means that she or he doesn’t have faith in your claim and is just trying to fatten their little wallets.

Attorneys, like Stewart + Harmonson, who work on contingency are preferable for a number of reasons:

  • You won’t be charged more than you can afford. If we’re only able to win you a small settlement, our fee will be proportionally small.
  • You don’t have to pay up front. Clients who are struggling to pay medical bills and deal with time off work shouldn’t have to find the money to pay up-front attorney fees.
  • We can work with you on pricing. Every person’s case is different. If necessary, we will work with you to tailor our percentage to your legal needs, the costs of working your case, and your financial situation.
  • We are just as invested in your case as you are. At the end of the day, the size of our paycheck depends on the size of the settlement we win for you.

Most personal injury lawyers charge a very similar contingent fee for the representation, but not all contingent fee lawyers are created equal.  Perhaps the single most important decision you will ever make in your case is your choice of lawyer. 

A bad lawyer can absolutely wreck your case, while a good injury lawyer can add significant value to your case – even up to millions of dollars in catastrophic injury and death cases. 

At Stewart + Harmonson, we will put our work up against any firm around and we encourage you to compare our work with other lawyers you may be considering.

More than anything else, we work to win cases because we care about getting justice for our clients. For example, we work frequently with people injured in oilfield accidents, and we strongly believe that employers should be held accountable for unsafe conditions in the workplace.

But working on contingency provides you with extra assurance that we will put the full weight of our experience as personal injury attorneys into winning you the compensation you deserve.

What Stewart + Harmonson does different

At Stewart + Harmonson, we use our over 40 years of combined experience to champion our clients in court. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation and talk about your case.

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