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Can I Do a Contingent Fee in a Limited Tort Case?

G. Clinton Kelley July 18, 2022

As many of you know, my wife Cindy and I have 3 sons. One of our sons, Will, owns a landscape/hardscape contracting company in the Pittsburgh area. He knows a lot of people, and a lot of those people know that both Will’s parents are lawyers. Our son tries to refer the people he knows who have legal problems to me. Will has referred some pretty good cases to me over the years.

Recently, Will referred a friend with limited tort car insurance who had been rear-ended while stopped at a red light. Will’s friend was hurt as a result of getting rear-ended. He was taken to the emergency room by ambulance, was following up with the family doctor, and had been doing a lot of physical therapy. In fact, he had been hurt so badly that for a time he could not work, he got behind on his bills, and his wife had to pick up extra hours at her job to try to make up for the money he wasn’t bringing home. By the time his wife finally got home at the end of the day, she was exhausted. And, things hadn’t been going great at home either, (if you know what I mean).

But get this - the car accident had happened about a year before Will’s friend had told him about it. When Will heard this, he warned his friend about the statute of limitations and that time was running out. Will asked his friend why he hadn’t hired a lawyer yet to help him with his accident case. Will’s friend replied that he could not afford a lawyer. Will was quick to respond that lawyers usually handle these types of cases on a “contingent fee” basis, so the client only pays the lawyer if the lawyer helps the client win money in the case. (So, Will had been listening all those years to what Cindy and I talked about at the dinner table).

But here comes the double whammy…

Will’s friend said that he knew what a contingent fee was and how it worked, but he didn’t think a lawyer would take his case on a contingent fee because he only had limited tort car insurance in Pennsylvania.

Alright, alright. Let’s set the record straight…

Yes! A client can still do a contingent fee with a lawyer in a Pennsylvania limited tort case. This means that the client with limited tort car insurance does not pay any legal fees unless and until the lawyer recovers money on the client’s behalf from the insurance company for the other driver that caused the car accident.

In my law practice, I help people with limited tort car insurance get paid by the other driver’s insurance company for their damages, like their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and loss of consortium if they are married (like Will’s friend). When I help people on cases like this, I charge a contingent fee and only get paid my legal fees if I win my client’s case.

So, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call me for a free case evaluation to see if you are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and damages.