What are Contingent Fees?

You’ve probably heard personal injury attorneys are expensive, and sometimes you don’t get what you really should after your personal injury claim. This isn’t exactly true, which is why I wanted to talk with you about how the attorney fees break down. You may have heard of the term “contingency fee” which is what you’ll be paying to your Virginia personal injury attorney. This goes hand in hand with the “no fee no recovery” slogan you’ve probably heard more times than you can remember.

A contingent fee means they’re not being paid hourly or flat fee, but will get percentage of your recovery – hopefully in your case it’s a “no fee no recovery” policy. That percentage ranges anywhere from 33%-40%, and really just depends on a few things. (We happen to charge 25% in car accident cases that can be settled long before trial and if "outside the box" thinking is for you, check out our program.)

Where this sliding recovery fee could land is usually based on where the claim ends. This will change depending on when it settles if at all, or if it goes to court.

There’s no industry norm here, each attorney handles this a bit differently so make sure you are on the same page with this.  This percentage fee is either going to be applied before or after everything below is paid out:

  1. Out of pocket expenses your personal injury attorney incurred for expert witnesses, enlargements for trial, travel, and copies of medical records.
  2. Unpaid medical bills
  3. Subrogation.

But what if you lose your case? Well you won’t have an attorney fee, but you may be required to pay the out of pocket expenses.

What you need to have before you start the case is an agreement that explains

  • How the fee will be calculated
  • What the fee is
  • What if I lose?

To learn more about car accident cases, download a FREE PDF of The Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your Injury Claim. Our website has many reports you can download for free to help you navigate the process of filing a personal injury claim.

If you have a question for Ben, you can submit it confidentially online at JustAskBenGlass.com. You can also reach our office at (703)584-7277 and speak to an experience legal professional.

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney