Most attorneys collect hourly fees and an upfront retainer, but personal injury attorneys usually work on a different basis of compensation. There are usually no upfront payments for personal injury lawyers, they often work for a contingency fee which isn’t paid until the case is won.
What is a Contingency Fee and How Does it Work?
When the attorney wins your case, then they will take a percentage of your settlement or award for legal fees. A cut of about one-third of your award is common, but if your lawyer does not win your case, then they will not receive payment based on their contingency system.
When you have finished the first consultation, you will be asked to sign a fee agreement contract if you decide this attorney is who you want for representation in your case. The agreement explains how and when your attorney will be paid and it details the percentage that both you and your attorney will receive should you succeed. Verify the fees first and be sure you understand the terms of the contract.
Your attorney’s fees may account for more than just the costs of hiring. Expenses that you should be aware of include the cost of deposition, expert testimony, and other office fees in addition to the initial rates. These will also be deducted from your settlement before the attorney receives their contingency fee.
Since many victims of personal injury are struggling just to pay medical bills due to their inability to work, this fee basis is advantageous for them because they won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket fees right away.
The Average Fees of a Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury attorney fees are commonly around 33.33 percent of the settlement amount of a successful settlement, however, the fees can be different based on the lawyer’s experience, location and the nuanced details of the case. If the case must be further pursued in court then the fee may increase to around forty percent. Thankfully, claims rarely go to court because they are usually settled out of court by insurance companies which may produce a better amount for the insurance companies to pay. If it goes to trial, the plaintiff may be awarded more money and they would rather avoid that outcome.
This system ensures victims of personal injury have a fair shot at compensation since they are unable to earn income due to their injury. If you have questions about pursuing a claim or if your claim was denied by an insurance company, then you should consult a personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg VA right away. With a contingency basis and a free consultation to begin with, it may be your best move to secure a fair settlement.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Martin Wren, P.C., for their insight into personal injury.