Personal Injury Claims: How Do Contingency Fees Work?

Virginia personal injury settlements

If you’re short on cash but need legal representation, hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis is a great option. Contingency fee arrangements are used when money is being claimed, like in a workers compensation or personal injury case.

What is a contingency fee?

Contingent fees are paid by the client if a lawyer successfully handles a case. These fees are commonly used in personal injury law where money is being claimed. The fee is deducted from the money recovered in the successful settlement or verdict.

How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

There’s no simple answer to this question, as it depends on the case and the attorney. Most lawyers charge in one of two ways: a contingency fee or an hourly billing rate. There are pros and cons to both methods, and understanding the way these charges work is critical to making your decision. With an hourly rate, you pay your lawyer for every hour they work on your case. Win or lose, you’re expected to pay up – including any expenses incurred during the work on the case. With a contingency fee, you do not owe the attorney any legal fees unless they settle or win your case.

How does a contingent fee agreement work?

With a contingency fee arrangement, the attorney agrees to a percentage of the overall money recovered from the claim, usually about 1/3. Case-related expenses your attorney has paid will also be reimbursed from your settlement. These terms will be laid out in an attorney-client contract and explained before you hire the attorney.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the fee is usually increased. That’s because filing a lawsuit requires much more work on behalf of the law firm: hiring expert witnesses, depositions, potential mediation, not to mention going to trial and potentially appealing a verdict.

How does the client benefit?

Contingency fees allow the client and attorney to share the financial burden of a case. This creates an incentive for lawyers to work hard for the best possible results. It also shows the level of confidence the attorney has in the case: they wouldn’t take on the client if they didn’t believe they could win! Contingency arrangements are also helpful for clients who might not have the money upfront to hire an attorney.

Regardless of what kind of payment arrangement you reach with your lawyer, make sure the agreement is in writing. It should outline the exact services your lawyer will provide as well as the expenses you’ll be expected to pay. Even if your case is unsuccessful, your lawyer may require you to pay for miscellaneous costs like court costs, courier and postage fees or travel expenses.

Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer

Contact the Law Offices of Richard Serpe, PC for a free consultation. We will work on your behalf to get you a fair settlement. We only charge legal fees if you receive a settlement or verdict.

Attorney Richard Serpe

Norfolk personal injury lawyerVirginia personal injury attorney Richard Serpe has dedicated his 35-year legal career to helping people who have been hurt due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, a dangerous product, or company. He has a tremendous track record of success in obtaining favorable jury verdicts and settlements for his clients. A large portion of his professional has been devoted to the representation of injured children.

Top-Rated Virginia Injury Attorney

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2005 – Present)
    • Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs
    • PI Lawyer of the Year (Norfolk 2020)
    • Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Super Lawyers: top 5% of lawyers in Virginia (2006 – Present)
  • Martindale-Hubbell law directory: AV Preeminent (highest rating)
  • : Rated 10/10 – “Superb”