Let’s get real here: the reason you’re hiring a lawyer in an injury case is to win damages for you and your family. But what’s that going to cost you? How much will the law firm charge to take on your case? This is an extremely important question to all involved and one that we at The Segal Law Firm take very seriously. The answer is going to be based on your contingent fee contract and the amount of risk involved in your case. One thing is always true, we don’t get paid unless we win you money.
What is the Average Contingency Fee?
Above I mentioned a contingent fee contract, which is a written document that guarantees you and your family that an injury lawyer is going to get a specific percentage of what they win you. In West Virginia, that is going to run between thirty and forty percent. This is always done in writing so that if they don’t win or get you money, you don’t owe anything. This is extremely important because it helps people get protected who would normally not be able to afford legal representation. I’ve made my living for over thirty years winning cases and getting results this way. It doesn’t matter if it’s a jury verdict or a settlement, we get paid our percentage when we get you money.
Why the Range of Percentage?
So, how do we decide how much to charge for the contingency fee? Why are some people being charged thirty-three and third percent and others get the full forty percent? Well, it all comes down to risk. Remember, I only get paid if I win. And winning requires several different types of experts and witnesses that cost money. If it’s a simple car wreck, then the police officer will testify for free and the treating physician may only cost a couple thousand dollars. I don’t have a lot of risk in that case because I can finance it for maybe ten thousand bucks, therefore I should only charge thirty or thirty-three percent.
Now if I’ve got a case where I have to hire mining engineers, explosive engineers, doctors, rehabilitation experts, and life care planners, I could spend a hundred to two hundred and fifty thousands dollars of my own money and it’s all at risk. If we lose that case, I lose that money. In that instance, I’m going to charge a higher contingency fee, closer to forty percent. This comes into play in chemical or industrial cases that involve complex medicine and expert witnesses. And if it’s an aviation case, you’re entering a whole different arena. You can spend two hundred thousand dollars on a case like that just blinking your eyes! So all of that is what we call risk and is what will ultimately determine the contingency fee.
Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of hours that are logged by a firm to investigate and prepare a case. It doesn’t happen often, thank goodness, but we have lost cases that took us thousands of hours to prepare. We don’t get paid for any of that. That’s why weighing the risk to come up with the correct percentage is just as important to us. We need to make sure that it accurately reflects the risk. And you are protected in knowing that you won’t pay anything until you have a positive result.
I really think the contingency fee lies heavily in favor of the client. We will assume all risk so that you don’t have to take any of it on yourselves during what is sure to be a very trying time in your life. We’ll pay for the experts, put in the time and make sure to do everything we can do get you the money you deserve. All you have to do is pick up the phone and start asking questions. We’ll make sure you get the answers you need. You can reach us at 855-344-9100.