HOURLY V. CONTINGENT FEE ATTORNEY
Difference between an hourly fee attorney and a contingent fee attorney will be your best interest.
Why do some attorneys take cases for plaintiffs on a contingency bases while others require an hourly fee? The best answer is that any attorney can work on any case for an hourly fee. There is no risk to the attorney. He or she gets paid regardless of the outcome. An elderly widow in Austin came to me once on a case where a driver ran into her house with a car. The only causes of action that could be brought against the driver were in negligence meaning that no attorneys fees could be recovered over the actual damage amount. This meant that the attorney had to be paid from the money needed to repair the house.
Her first attorney had charged her by the hour and cost her as much as the actual recovery she was able to make. Consequently, that hourly attorney actually cost her her recovery. Had she had a contingency arrangement, her attorney would have been limited to a recovery as a percentage of her recovery.
There is nothing wrong with an hourly fee arrangement, but if you are a consumer with claims against a defendant, the attorney that will only represent you on an hourly basis may be too afraid to take your case; may be unfamiliar with the type of case you have; or most likely, knows there is no risk and merely forces you to bear the risk alone.
Sometimes, your only choice is to hire an attorney on an hourly basis, but when you have a choice, you should at least investigate what your options would be.