Do you have the legal right to get financial compensation in case of a personal injury? If you do, then it’s time that you get legal representation.
There are a lot of people who think of getting a personal injury lawsuit without a lawyer. In this case, you have to give your best to convince the insurance company that you deserve the compensation. You might also face many complexities in doing so.
Thus, it is better to hire a personal injury lawyer. One can represent you under a contingency fee agreement. A contingency agreement means that you do not pay anything to your lawyer unless you get compensation for your injury.
Disagreements over the cost of personal injury cases are the main reason for disputes among lawyers and clients. There are certain additional costs during the lawsuit that you can not avoid. So, if you plan to file an injury claim, make sure to discuss it with injury lawyers.
This article will help you with all the correct information about lawsuit costs. We will tell you about all the costs, what they look like and who is responsible for paying them.
Understand The Difference Between “Costs” And “Fees”
Costs and fees have the same meaning for every average person. They are two completely different terms in legal language.
The word “fees” refers to the amount that an attorney charges to hold your case. For example, a contingency fee is the specific amount of recovery the attorney keeps for working on your case.
The word “cost” refers to every other expense in litigation. Litigation is the process of taking a personal injury case to the civil court.
Costs associated with some of the high costs that you come across in an injury lawsuit are as follows:
- Expert witness fees
- Administrative expenses
- Court costs
- Investigation costs
- Cost of information gathering
- Deposition costs
Let’s have a deeper look at these costs
The Costs Associated With A Personal Injury Case
1. Expert Witness Fees
The expert witness fee is the most significant expense in a personal injury case. Usually, the expert witnesses charge many hundred dollars to review your case. The rate is per hour so that they can make several thousand dollars. So, if your case requires several witnesses, the charges will make up to tens of thousands of dollars. But typical injury lawsuit cases require only one expert witness.
You might be thinking, why do we need to hire an expert witness? It is so because they present specific technical arguments in the court regarding your injury case. An average person has no idea about any of these arguments, and the courts also do not allow just anyone to testify in the case.
For example, a non-medical person can not explain the case of a doctor’s negligence. A judge will give more weightage to a doctor’s testimony. The court considers that an affidavit from a non-expert person does not add value to the case. In some cases, the non-expert testimony confuses and might distract the court.
Only a few people can qualify as expert witnesses. They are the ones that can explain technical terms and scientific concepts to the jury. Therefore, it is necessary to hire an expert witness, although it might be very costly.
2. Administrative Expenses
Every court case requires some administrative expenses. They include postage charges, travel, copying, legal research, and trial exhibit charges.
These charges are not very costly. In a straightforward case, where only a few documents are involved, the administrative expenses do not cost more than a few hundred dollars. But if your injury case lasts several years, these expenses might reach a few thousand dollars. It is widespread in personal injury cases that the case continues for several years in the court.
3. Court Costs
Court costs are the main expense associated with a personal injury lawsuit. The most expensive part of the case costs is court costs. Court costs include the following:
- The complaint filing fee (almost $100 to $400)
- Daily stipend for the jurors
- Serving the summons
- Serving the complaint on the defendant
The plaintiff might want to keep a copy of in-court testimony with himself. He has to pay the court reporter for the transcript copy in this situation. The copy hardly costs $2 to $4 per page. You can get an all-day in-court testimony copy at $400. It is better to keep a copy with you as proof. You might need it anytime afterward.
4. Cost Of Information Gathering And Investigation
It is a minimal expense in many cases. This process involves obtaining medical reports, police records, and certain small records that you can use as proof. It is pretty easy to gain access to medical and police records.
You might have to pay a nominal fee to obtain them in some cases. The only expense you might have to include is when the particular investigation is necessary. For example, it is essential to hire a private investigator in some cases. So, you will have to pay him for that.
In some personal injury lawsuits, you have to send someone to conduct research. You can only gain some information by completing the study in person. So, the information gathering step can cost a few dollars.
5. Deposition Costs
Deposition includes taking sworn, non-trial testimony on record. It is the information and proof you collect before the trial goes into court. In the deposition process, you will ask the witness a few questions.
The stenographer records everything happening at that place. Any of the two parties can request for deposition. The fee for the stenographer’s time and services is the responsibility of the party requesting testimony. The requesting party also pays for a copy of the transcript. The deposition lasts a few hours only. The maximum deposition cost is only $500.
The average costs of a personal injury lawsuit turn out to be a considerable amount of money. It is the art of balancing expenses. If you succeed in offsetting the cost of the case and the personal recovery, you can gain many benefits.
It is not an easy task, but the experience can help you. Discuss all the expenses with your attorney and ask them to balance the gain and loss. We would recommend you use your legal right and gain your compensation if you are injured. The best personal injury attorney will explain all the legal rights and answer your queries.