What Does “No Pay Unless You Win” Actually Mean?

“No pay unless you win!” You’ve seen this phrase before on billboards, or heard it on TV or the radio. But what does it actually mean?

When you hire an attorney to represent you, you don’t pay them up front. Instead, attorneys typically use a contingent fee, or the “no pay unless you win” fee. A contingent fee is a fee that is only payable if the client wins a favorable outcome in your case.

Oftentimes, a client cannot afford an attorney right away.  After an accident, medical bills, lost wages, and other matters drain the bank account. However, everyone deserves the right to fair compensation, regardless of if they can afford it. This is why contingent fees are the preference for many clients. If an attorney works for a contingent fee and settles a case for a client, then the attorney is paid with part of that settlement or verdict. The percentage that the attorney is paid differs depending on the case or settlement. It compensates the attorney for the hard work, time, and effort that they have poured into the successful case.

Due to contingent fees, attorneys really only want to take cases they think they can win. If they don’t win, they don’t receive any money, and the client doesn’t receive compensation, either — it’s not a happy situation for anyone! This is why attorneys sometimes reject cases. If an attorney turns down a case, it might be because the injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant a lawsuit, because there isn’t much evidence, or because they get the feeling that the lawsuit would not be successful. When an attorney rejects a case, it’s because they do not think it would be worth the client’s time, money, and well-being to pursue the case. Attorneys weigh the pros and cons of each case very carefully, and make their decisions based on how it will benefit the client, not themselves. Sometimes, an attorney may even work for no fee — this is called pro bono work.

You deserve receive compensation and the help of an experienced attorney. Likewise, if the attorney  helps you win your case, they deserve to be paid, too. Contingent fees make this work out nicely for everyone.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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