How much money will I have to pay a personal injury attorney as a retainer? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

You will not have to pay your personal injury attorney anything upfront as retainer typically. Attorneys who regularly do personal injury or wrongful death cases work on a percentage basis called a contingency fee which means you don’t have to pay them anything up front in order to hire them. An attorney gets paid for his time as a percentage of what is collected from the insurance company for the at-fault driver. Injury lawyers are available to help anyone hurt in an accident regardless of their ability to pay in advance for services.

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The advantage for the client in a contingency fee arrangement is that the lawyer is taking a risk with the person who is injured in a car wreck. If you don’t make any recovery, the lawyer will not be paid for his time. There is the separate category of expenses which the client may ultimately be responsible for. The expenses are monies paid to get certain things done on the case separate from the attorney’s time which is called fee. Law firms that regularly handle injury cases on a percentage basis usually will advance on the client’s behalf the expenses necessary to pursue the claim and to get those back from the client at the end of the case. The expenses are typically a relatively low amount until the case goes into suit. The potential client should ask the attorney what expenses they expect to incur during the course of the case. At our law firm we only make the decision to go to suit together with the client when it’s in the client’s best interests and they give us the green light to go ahead. At that time there will typically be a more detailed discussion about what the expenses are in pursuing the matter in court. In Virginia (VA), the vast majority of personal injury automobile cases do not require going into suit in order to get successfully resolved.


About the editors: The motto at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan law firm is simple –“All we do is injury law.” We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our Virginia Accident Lawyer FAQ Library for additional information. If you’d like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at (833) 997-1774.