When you suffer injury or loss as a result of someone else’s negligence you can get compensation. Such compensation can be done by filing a personal injury claim. Even with a lawyer contingency fee agreement, there are other costs that will result from taking your case to court. This article and a subsequent one will discuss the costs linked with taking your personal injury case to court.
When settlement negotiations and agreements fail, a personal injury case goes to court. Unfortunately, there are many costs linked to this. By definition litigation is “the process of resolving disputes by filing or answering a complaint through the public court system”. There are many processes included in the litigation process and it can be very expensive. There are number of aspects that make litigation expensive, therefore, when a settlement offer is made, we link the costs. However, there a number of these factors linked to the expensiveness of litigation.
Factors Linked to Costs
Some of these factors include:
- Lawyer fees – the plaintiff’s attorney works on a contingency fee. Basically, this means the attorney gets a percentage of whatever compensation is given to the injured. However, if the injured person gets nothing, the attorney gets nothing. The terms of the lawyer fees are set out in the fee agreement.
- Expert witness fees – another major cost is that of expert witness fees. The truth is that experts are not cheap. With some personal injury cases more than one expert is needed or involved in the case. Common experts used for different cases are:
– engineers to testify about products or the vehicle
– accident reconstruction experts to testify on how an accident happened
– medical professionals to testify about injuries and medical treatment
– accountants to testify about lost wages
Such experts do not come cheap; they have been known to charge by the hour. Therefore, their bills may range into several thousands of dollars.