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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

January 13, 2022 | Personal Injury

Any person who sustains an injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another may be able to recover compensation for their losses. The vast majority of personal injury claims in West Virginia are resolved through settlement with insurance carriers, but there are times when personal injury claims do go all the way to a jury trial.

Regardless of how a claim is settled, it is important to work with a skilled Martinsburg personal injury lawyer. However, you need to know how much it will cost you to hire a personal injury lawyer to see your case through to the end.

There Are Plenty of Expenses Involved in a Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury claims, whether they are resolved through settlements with insurance carriers or a personal injury jury verdict, are not cheap. There are many expenses associated with handling the claim, beginning with the filing process and ending with a potential personal injury jury trial. Some of the most common costs associated with a personal injury claim include the following:

  • Court costs and legal fees
  • Costs to research pertinent laws
  • Administrative fees such as copying documents or transcribing depositions
  • The cost of hiring expert witnesses to testify in the case

Importantly, an attorney’s time costs money. It would be unreasonable to expect an attorney to work for free because these are professionals who specialize in helping individuals recover compensation for their losses. However, just because an attorney may cost money does not mean that you should try to handle the case without one.

What is a Contingency Fee?

It is not uncommon for personal injury lawyers in West Virginia to handle these claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney will handle every cost associated with the case in exchange for recovering a certain percentage of the final insurance settlement or jury verdict. The injury victim will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs associated with their case, and they will not owe any legal fees until after their attorney successfully recovers the compensation they are entitled to. The best part of a contingency fee arrangement is that the injury victim will not pay any legal fees if their attorney does not win their case.

There are typically various percentages used when a contingency fee arrangement is worked out, usually ranging from 30% to 35% of the final settlement or jury verdict. For example, let us suppose that an attorney and an injury victim have worked out a 33% contingency fee for a spinal cord injury case. If a jury determines that the injury victim should receive $1 million in total compensation, then the overall legal fees and expenses would be approximately $330,000.

This may seem like a rather large figure, particularly for legal fees. However, the reality is that an attorney will likely be able to recover a larger settlement or jury verdict than an injury victim would otherwise have received if they had tried to handle the case by themselves. In fact, for a complicated injury case, it would be nearly impossible for the injury victim to handle the case on their own. It is very likely that legal teams and insurance carriers for the defendant would offer a ridiculously low settlement or even find a way to get the case dismissed.

The contingency fee is usually well worth it for the injury victim as they work to recover the compensation they are entitled to. There is no way to overstate just how beneficial a personal injury lawyer’s experience is in these situations.

We strongly encourage you to speak to a skilled personal injury attorney for a free consultation of your case so you can discuss how much your matter will cost overall.