Contingency fees are an arrangement for payment for an attorney's services, in which the attorney is paid out of the recovery awarded to the client. Contingency fees are usually between a fourth and a third of the amount awarded. If the client doesn't recover, no fee is owed.
Contingent fees are commonly arranged in personal injury cases and may allow persons to hire a lawyer when they could otherwise not afford to pay hourly rates. In some states the percentage (or the maximum percentage) that a lawyer may charge by way of a contingency fee is set by law. Contingent fees are not allowed in criminal matters and rarely permitted in family law cases. They are also referred to as contingent fees.