I’m a lawyer and even I wouldn’t want to hire a lawyer if I didn’t have to. I’ve paid for an attorney for real estate closings and for a will, but fortunately have never been in a situation where I personally had to shell out thousands for an attorney.

Most people don’t want to pay a lawyer if they don’t have to.  Some simply can’t afford it. I get it. Hiring a lawyer can be expensive.  In some cases you can get a lawyer who only gets paid if they win the case.  This is called working on a contingency. A lot of people call us wanting this type of lawyer.  Here are six ways you can make it happen.

  1. Have an injury case.  Just about every injury case should be done this way.  It’s most common for malpractice, workers comp and car accidents where you aren’t at fault. Sadly, if someone hits your car, but you aren’t injured, getting a contingency attorney to help get the car fixed will be near impossible.  On the other hand, if you have an injury and property damage, the attorneys we know will handle the whole case on a contingency.
  2. Have a case that has value.  I would never tell someone to see the doctor if they aren’t injured.  That said, an injury case has more value if you receive medical treatment. So if you are truly hurt, go to the doctor.
  3. Don’t be a defendant. It’s impossible to defend someone on a contingency basis. That’s because you aren’t recovering anything.
  4. Don’t be going through a divorce or criminal case. It’s against Illinois law to handle either of these cases on a pay if you win basis.  There is no recovery in criminal cases and it would be immoral to do it that way in a divorce.  Plus you can’t take a percentage of child custody.
  5. Have a wage case that is worth at least $10,000.00 or a consumer fraud case. In both of these situations it can be possible to make the defendant pay the lawyer fees.  If so, no attorney is going to ask you for any money up front.
  6. Get your facts organized in a clear and concise way.  Any lawyer can understand a story of being rear-ended at a red light.  But if you want to sue for something like a fraudulent will and don’t want to pay for it up front, an outline of what happened makes it more likely that the attorney will take your case. Keep out the emotion and stick to the facts.  By that I mean something like: “On July 10, my sister took my mom, who had Alzheimers, to her lawyer friend to sign a new will.”  That is relevant and to the point. Adding how frustrated that made you doesn’t tell the story no matter how wrong everything is.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or want a referral to a contingency attorney, call us at 312-346-5320 at any time.