In most personal injury cases, attorneys agree to represent clients for a contingency fee, meaning they receive payment based on the compensation received by their clients. Additional costs are inevitably incurred, but the costs vary based on the particular case.
If your case is settled before filing a lawsuit, your costs, beyond the attorney’s contingency fee, will be low. There will most likely only be administrative fees such as photocopies of official documents, travel expenses, and other miscellaneous costs. Court cases, however, can include a number of other expenses.
Court costs: There are numerous court costs, including the filing fee, jury stipends, summons filing, stenographer fees, deposition costs, and more.
Expert witnesses: Experts are absolutely essential in a personal injury case, and each type of case is different. Medical malpractice cases; vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, boats, planes; activities such as riding ATVs, hang gliding, water skiing; slip and fall cases; animal attacks; product malfunction – all require very different experts to explain where the liability should be placed and how badly you have been affected by another person’s negligence. These experts require compensation for their time and expertise.
Investigation and research costs: A case could require the help of a private investigator, an accident reconstructionist, or a dedicated researcher to turn up additional records. These services may be necessary to strengthen your case and increase the chances of a substantial award.
Don’t be concerned by the incurring of additional costs, thinking they will automatically reduce your compensation. Quite the opposite may, in fact, be the case. Your expert witnesses could make the difference between winning and losing or between a large settlement or a small one.
However, it is important to weigh the costs against the likely size of the settlement. As stated, settling out of court, before filing, will likely generate low costs. You should discuss with your attorney the likelihood of settling, and how much he or she thinks you could reasonably be awarded if the case goes to court.
An experienced personal injury lawyer such as myself, who has a reputation for winning substantial awards for clients, will have the experience to know when to push for settlement and when to file a lawsuit. A good lawyer can keep unnecessary fees to a minimum while doing what is necessary to provide you with the highest level of compensation for your injuries and suffering. Give me a call for a no-cost consultation to see how I can help you.