A fee charged for a lawyer’s services only if the lawsuit is successful or is favorably settled out of court. Contingent fees are usually calculated as a percentage of the client’s net recovery.

In Plain English:

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff’s attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorneys only receive a fee if the plaintiff receives a settlement or is awarded damages at trial. If no settlement is reached, or no damages awarded at trial, the plaintiff does not have to pay the attorneys a fee. Typically the fee is a percentage of the total amount received by the plaintiff either in the form of a settlement or as damages awarded at trial.