If you are injured in an accident and intend to file a claim with the at-fault party, you may be concerned about the cost of filing a lawsuit. There is no one answer to how much an injury case will cost because every case is different, just as the cases’ circumstances are different.
While all cases may differ, there are some similarities in costs. This post highlights factors that determine the cost of pursuing a claim and everything else you may need to know about the cost and financing for your injury claim.
You Do Not Have To Pay Upfront
To many people, the mention of a lawyer means bills they can’t afford to foot, considering accidents can hugely affect a person’s finances. The good news is that you don’t have to reserve money to get a personal injury lawyer to work on your case. Many injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means they get a certain percentage of your payout only when they win your case.
The percentage cut can vary depending on the lawyer, so you want to ensure that you are getting the best deal before settling for a lawyer. Typically, a lawyer can take anything from 25% to 40 percent.
The good thing is lawyers offer a first free consultation, so you can get a chance to sample quite a number.
Besides a lawyer’s contingency fee cut, you may also wasn’t to consider where they are based. For example, if you live in California, you can depend on reinerslaughter.com, a California-based law firm, to help you recoup the rightful compensation.
Besides legal fees deducted from a person’s payout, additional charges apply, some of which you may be required to pay from out-of-pocket cash. Your lawyer may foot the bill on your behalf but may require a reimbursement after recovering your damages. These costs may include:
1. Court Fees
Court fees can include claim-filing fees, stipends for jurors if the case goes to trial, and the cost of serving the defendant. Also, you may need to foot the bill getting court proceeding transcripts if you need them.
2. Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses can play a big role in helping your case. But they come at a cost. Expert witnesses’ time in court can be as much as several hundred dollars for every hour they spend in court, including the hours they spend preparing for your case. It is not uncommon to find expert witness charges reaching tens of thousands of dollars.
3. Administrative Expenses
The court processes involve sending mail, copying documents, legal research, producing exhibits, and sometimes traveling. The complainant foots all these bills. Although it may not be much, it can amount to a few hundred or thousands over the whole course of the lawsuit.
4. Investigation and Information Gathering
For the most part, evidence collection, such as getting the police report and medical reports, will require a few dollars to get copies. But if your case involves using a private investigator, you could be required to part with several thousand.
The Balancing Act
Before filing a claim, it is important that you, with the help of a lawyer, consider the amount it would cost to file your claim vs. the expected outcome.
In situations where the cost of a claim exceeds the possible recoverable damages, your lawyer may advise you not to file the claim or, if you do, do it without a lawyer, especially where the injuries involved are not severe.
A fair outcome should allow the injured person to recover economic, non-economic, and punitive damages even after considering legal fees. If the claim can’t foot its bill, it is not worth pursuing.