What You Need to Know about Personal Injury Cases

Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, P.L.L.C.
4 mins READ
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If you have recently been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you might be thinking about seeking restitution for medical bills, lost wages from missing work, pain, suffering, and inconvenience. But unless you are a lawyer, the legal ins and outs of filing a personal injury claim can be overwhelming. Contacting a law firm can be intimidating for many and you may have a lot of questions. Can you afford representation? How much does personal injury lawyer cost, anyway? What is a contingency fee? We break it down here.

Who Pays Attorney Fees?

Some of our firm’s top questions center around how and who pays the attorney fee when hiring a lawyer for a personal injury claim. The short answer is that the fee is paid out of the settlement amount that an insurance company pays on a personal injury claim. The client will never pay anything out of pocket and all attorney fees for a personal injury claim are typically paid through a contingency fee.

How Do Contingency Fees Work? How Do They Differ From Other Fee Structures?

Contingency fees, or personal injury fees, are a percentage of the total settlement amount paid by the insurance company for your injury claim. This fee is typically a percentage that can range from 20 – 50%, with the national average being 33.3%, or a third. Unlike other methods of attorney compensation like billable hours that are paid directly by the client prior to legal services, contingency fees are paid at the end of legal services of an injury claim. Because the contingency fee is a percentage of the settlement amount, the law firm is only paid if there is money recovered through the claim. This minimizes financial risk to the client compared to other types of legal fee structures If there is no monetary recovery for the client, there is no fee owed to the personal injury law firm so there is no risk to the client.

What Are the Advantages of Contingency Fees?

As mentioned above, contingency fees reduce the risk for personal injury clients. It is no secret that legal help is expensive, and if personal injury lawyers were paid upfront, regardless of the case outcome, many people with valid personal injury claims might never act on them. The law firm only gets paid when their client is awarded a personal injury claim settlement. If the claim or case is unsuccessful, the personal injury law firm losses the time spent on the case while the client owes nothing.

An additional benefit to a contingency fee model is that because the personal injury law firm is paid a percentage of the total settlement amount, the firm will do everything to make sure the top amount is obtained for their client. This creates a win-win situation where both the client and the law firm get the maximum amount of compensation.

Is It Worth It to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Suppose you, as a potential client, are considering whether or not to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you obtain compensation when you are injured through no fault of your own. You may be wondering if you should make the claim yourself and keep the total amount paid by the insurance company instead of paying a law firm a percentage.

If legal representation did not increase the average settlement amount significantly, the answer would be yes—by all means, represent yourself. But in fact, a recent national survey shows that while clients who represented themselves took home an average of $17,600, those who hired a personal injury lawyer took home an average of $77,600, over four times the amount they would have received on their own. Even if the law firm takes half, leaving the client with $38,800, that is still over twice what they would receive otherwise.

While the typical contingency fee percentage is 33.3%, or a third of your personal injury claim settlement amount, some law firms charge a higher percentage. When discussing your case, it is always a good idea to ask what percentage of a settlement a law firm charges for contingency fees. Many times, the fee will increase if your claim goes to court as the law firm incurs more costs to take a claim to trial. Be sure to get a clear understanding on the contingency fee terms before hiring an attorney. If you are uncomfortable with the fee, do not be afraid to walk away and contact other law firms.

The bottom line is that while legal representation is not cheap, experienced personal injury firms like Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law work hard to ensure that your well-being is top priority and will do everything in our power to ensure you get the highest compensation available. Our firm prides ourselves on ensuring that our fee is fair and doesn’t overshadow what you put into your own pocket. We have plenty of rave reviews to back up that claim. At Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, we also work hard to negotiate reductions with your medical providers, ensuring we further maximize the amount that you receive at the end of a claim

If you or a loved one has been injured in Virginia through no fault of your own, reach out to us today about personal injury representation. The initial consultation is free, and instead of meeting with an intake professional like at many personal injury firms, you will speak with an expert personal injury attorney who can listen to your needs, work to understand your situation, and help you decide on the best course of action. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney today!

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