You may have suffered an injury due to an automobile, motorcycle, bus, or bicycle collision, or other incidents such as slip and fall or dog bite. But you may hesitate before contacting an attorney to help with your claim because you assume you can’t afford their services. Think again. Most personal injury law firms in Southwest Virginia, including Altizer Law, work on a contingency-fee basis.
This means a fee is collected from the client only when the firm can negotiate a fair settlement or obtain a successful jury verdict. In other words, this kind of fee agreement allows an attorney to provide legal services to injured victims at no upfront cost. In short, anyone can afford legal representation!
Why Work With a Contingency Fee Lawyer?
Legal fees add up fast in a complex and time consuming case, and it can take a while to reach a successful conclusion. When you hire a contingency fee lawyer, you as the injured victim can pursue a claim and obtain sufficient legal representation without the financial risk. This encourages your legal team to work hard on your behalf to achieve a successful verdict or settlement, as they have a vested interest in the outcome.
In a contingency fee arrangement, you don’t have to stress about paying hourly fees or making payments as your case proceeds through the litigation process.
Just keep in mind that not all Southwest Virginia personal injury attorneys work with this type of fee system. Some require upfront money to cover litigation costs. Always review the fine print before signing any legal agreement.
Who Will Pay the Contingency Fee and How Much Will it Be?
Someone has to pay the attorney fees, right? So who does? The fee will be paid out of the judgment, verdict or settlement of your personal injury case. Let’s say the case is settled out of court. The fee and related expenses will come out of the settlement proceeds, with a check issued to the plaintiff at the conclusion of the case. In a jury trial where money is awarded to the injured party, the attorney’s fee comes out of the total jury award.
Before your attorney agrees to represent you, they will have you sign a contingency fee agreement (CFA), which will spell out the percentage that will be deducted from the total settlement or proceeds from the jury verdict. Once you sign that, your attorney can then represent you and begin working on the case.
In terms of how much the contingency fee will be, keep in mind it is a percentage of the total amount that is awarded. That percentage is based on many factors, such as the type of injury you sustained, the long-term care required, existing medical bills, estimated medical bills in the future, the effects your injuries have your life, and the permanency of your injuries. This is why it’s virtually impossible for your attorney to give you an exact amount beforehand.
In general, the contingency fee for a lawyer is usually 33 percent if the case has a quick resolution through mediation or settlement; that figure could go up to 40 percent if a lawsuit is filed.
Contact Altizer Law
Here at Altizer Law, our personal injury attorneys in Southwest Virginia work on a contingency fee basis, and do not charge upfront attorney fees. Call us with confidence for a free, no-obligation consultation today at 540-345-2000 if you have suffered a personal injury.