So what is a contingency fee? My name is Kenneth Berger, a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, and I made this video to help answer that question and also explain how contingency fees work. So typically, in South Carolina and other states, a lawyer is going to receive a percentage of however much they get for you at the end of the case. And oftentimes, that percentage is anywhere from 30 to 40 percent, sometimes less, not typically more than that. And the contingency fee may vary in essence based on how much the lawyer has to do - whether or not a lawsuit's required, whether or not the case goes to trial, and the lawyer's fee is contingent upon whether or not they recover any money for you. So the idea is that you don't have to pay the lawyer any money if they don't recover anything for you. And that's one of the ways, again, a client benefits from a contingency fee. Because there are no upfront fees, because there are no retainers, and because you don't have to spend any money to hire the lawyer, it saves you a lot of money on the front end.
Contingency Fee Process in South Carolina
The same way you're not having to worry about coming out of pocket to pay the lawyer, the same way you may be having to come out of pocket for medical bills and other expenses. We recognize that after a wreck or after some other type of accident, you've got a lot of other financial obligations to meet and the last thing we want to do is put another financial burden on top of you by trying to pay a lawyer. Oftentimes, if you're paying a lawyer by the hour on a case that took months or even a couple of years, you'd end up spending a fortune to ever get that case to trial, and most people just flat out can't afford that.
So that's one of the reasons that lawyers charge contingency fees, and it prevents you from having to pay anything unless the lawyer makes a recovery for you, and if the lawyer does that, then the lawyer gets a percentage of the total recovery. Now, something really important to know, and something that we do that may be a little different than other firms is we never ever take more at the end of a case than the client puts in their pocket when the case is over. So even if our fee said 1/3, okay, even if the fee was 33%, well if we made a recovery that after having to pay back medical expenses or experts, whomever it may be, if 33% was more than what the client was going to walk away with and put in their pocket, then we'd, of course, reduce our fee. We never take more than clients because you're the one who went through it. We're just the ones who represent you. So no matter what the fee agreement may say and no matter what the contingency fee may be, rest assured that we would never ever take more than a client at the end of the case and that's not something that every law firm can say. If you have any questions about contingency fees or any other part of a case, feel free to reach out to us, we're glad to give a free consultation and answer any additional questions you may have. Thanks.