How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia for a Car Accident?

If you have been in a car accident in Virginia, you may be considering hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to handle your case. Hiring a lawyer is probably a smart choice, but you may want to know how much it will cost before you start looking for the right one for your case. After all, there is a lot of work that goes into handling these cases, so the fee must be pretty steep, right? And you've always seen on TV how lawyers seem to bill by the hour on all kinds of cases...

How Does a Personal Injury Lawyers Calculate Their Fee?

Contrary to popular belief, lawyers generally do not charge by the hour. In most cases, a lawyer will charge you what is called a contingency fee for an accident or injury case. He or she will take a percentage piece of the final settlement. This also means that the lawyer will only recover money if your case is successful.

The average personal injury lawyer will charge anywhere from 33-40 percent of the settlement or trial result. He or she only collects that money after the case has reached its final settlement, and you are collecting money from the case yourself.

At BenGlassLaw, we do things differently. We charge a Sliding Fee. This means that we charge you based on the workload for your case. If we settle before trial, then the fee will be lower, but if the case goes to trial, the fee will increase as we will have a higher workload and more expenses.

Our first consultation is free. Our personal injury fees are 25 percent of the recovery if we settle your case without ever filing a lawsuit, AND our fee is 25 percent of your recovery if we file a lawsuit and settle the case any time before 90 days before trial.

If we get within 90 days before trial, that's really when all the work happens, and so our fee goes up 33 percent of the settlement. We charge less depending on when we settle your claim. The reason for this is most casework happens in the 90 days before trial. If your case settles before this period, we've done less work and therefore charge our clients less.

If your case does require a lawyer, then you should always ask any lawyer you are considering hiring about how they charge for their contingency fee:

  • What are the percentages? ​(Before the case needs to go to trial and after.)
  • What costs will be charged to you:
    • Travel expenses
    • Medical Records
    • Expert Witness fees
    • Postage
    • Filing fees
    • Investigators and experts
    • Depositions
    • Transcripts
    • Trial exhibits
  • Are there any extra outside fees?​

Important Notes to Understand

We will often look at your case and let you know if we think we will bring value to your case. However, it is common to find that most cases can be handled without a lawyer. Especially for accidents that require minimal hospital visits or minor to no injuries. We will consult with you and provide you with information that can help you settle the case with the insurance adjuster on your own. ​

It is important to note that if a case is settled using a lawyer who charges a contingency fee, it is common for the lawyer to receive the settlement check first. This practice ensures that the lawyer is paid for their services in your particular case. The lawyer is required to present you with a detailed list explaining all of the deductions they took from your settlement check. They will then send your portion of the settlement check to you.

In the event that you would like to terminate the contract with your lawyer before the case is over, it is best to get them to agree in writing before you pursue a new lawyer for your case. This will prevent the lawyer from pursuing expenses and fees from you. You should also send a copy of the signed document to the defendant in your case to avoid any delays in the settlement.

Brian Glass
Virginia personal injury lawyer selected to SuperLawyers Rising Stars List and the NTLA's Top 40 Under 40.