Under Ethical Rule 1.5 of the State Bar of Arizona, it is ethically acceptable for lawyers to impose nonrefundable fees for their services. Fees need to be charged reasonably according to the skill, time, labor, and outcome of each case. Before a lawyer can impose a nonrefundable fee, he or she must fully notify the client of the nonrefundable fee arrangement and the client must express their agreement in writing.
Under a nonrefundable fee arrangement a lawyer will be paid for their services even if they lose the case. Nonrefundable fee arrangements can be used for any type of case, although it is less common for it to be applied to personal injury cases where clients are dealing with other significant expenses besides legal fees.
In personal injury cases it is best advised to use a contingency fee arrangement where the lawyer will be paid a percentage of the final settlement, clients will not pay any initial fees until the case is won. This ensures a client will be more willing to move forward with the claim if they don't have any upfront costs.