In many other areas of law, such as family law or criminal defense, attorneys get payments directly from the client in either a flat fee arrangement or an hourly rate. When it comes to personal injury cases, at Abrenio Law, we use something called a Contingency Fee. It means that we only get paid if you get paid.
How does a contingency fee work?
If you hire Abrenio Law, unless agreed otherwise, you don’t pay anything upfront. Rather, at the end of the case, you will get one settlement check. And we will take a percentage of that check for our attorneys fee.
What percentage do you take?
While we understand the “industry standard” to be 33% of a car accident victim’s settlement, we start of better. For car accidents, we typically charge 25 % of your settlement or jury verdict amount if your claim resolved outside of 90 days from a trial date. If it goes within 90 days of trial, your contingency fee will be raised to 33%.
The reason we charge a higher fee closer to trial is because, at 90 days, we start doing a lot more work on your case. However, if we are able to settle your case sooner, we believe that you should get the benefit.
Is the contingency fee all I have to pay?
The Contingency Fee pertains to our attorney’s fees. There are additional costs for which the client is responsible. Costs include fees for obtaining medical records, filing fees, deposition costs, and expert fees. However, when you work with Abrenio Law, you will be informed of of these costs. In practice, the highest costs in our cases are those charged by expert witnesses, such as doctors and engineers. But you will be informed before we start spending money.
How do you define “trial”?
To be clear, you will be aware of your trial date. At least in Northern Virginia, trial dates are not set until 9 months to 1 year after the filing of a lawsuit. In practical terms, if you come to us far in advance of your lawsuit having to be filed, we will have made efforts to resolve your claim with the insurance companies, and if unsuccessful, we will then file a lawsuit. As we’ve explained before, most cases settle before going filing suit.
It’s not until after that filing that a trial date gets set 9 months to a year out. You will be informed of this trial date, and we will work together as it approaches. That’s because, of course, your contingency fee will change.
But more importantly to us, we need you to assist us in preparing for your trial, if it happens.