How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawsuit Cost Me?
If you feel that you were in a situation that merits a personal injury lawsuit, it is necessary that you understand the costs involved.
Personal injury lawsuits are never cheap, both in terms of money and time spent. However, many accidents are worth the investment of time and resources.
That’s why if you or someone you love has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or misconduct, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. For some, the total amount of damages barely covers all the costs involved. For others, the awarded damages far exceed the expenses.
You should familiarize yourself with the costs involved in a personal injury lawsuit before taking on your own. Additionally, discussing your case with an experienced attorney can help you fully understand whether or not taking it to trial is in your best interest.
Filing & Summons Fees
When you officially make it known to Arizona courts that you intend to sue, you pay a fee to file the complaint. Filing the complaint could cost anywhere from $50-$300.
While there are no-cost options available for serving papers to the defendant, some people or their attorneys prefer to pay a nominal fee to ensure delivery in a timely manner.
Expert Witness Fees
Often, the expert witness fees are the most expensive. Some expert witnesses are fully credentialed doctors with a significant hourly rate.
In spite of the great expense in acquiring expert witnesses, they are crucial to your case, particularly in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In preparation for the courtroom, all relevant parties give statements (under oath) serving attorneys on both sides in the discovery process.
Costs associated with depositions could prove almost as costly as expert witness costs. For example, if those required to be present for deposition live far away, then deposition costs included flights and hotels.
Special Investigation, Research, and Administrative Fees
If you or your attorney feels that you need more evidence beyond what is available via public record, expert witness testimony, and depositions, then you may be required to pay for additional man hours and access to records.
Hiring a private investigator frequently falls into this category.
In a jury trial, maintaining a jury also costs money, and the cost could be significant depending on how long the trial goes.
At the end of a case, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That is, you only pay your attorney if you win the case.
While this varies among law firms, traditional personal injury attorney fees in Arizona run from 30-35% of your total winnings.
An important distinction between costs and fees is relevant when discussing attorney fees. As already noted, you are not usually required to pay a fee to your attorney if you lose a case. However, costs exist apart from your attorney fees.
Therefore, a significant reason you might work with an attorney is to determine whether or not your case can or should go to trial. Many trial costs are required beforehand without any guarantee that you will win your case.
The good news is that your opponent would also like to avoid costs associated with a personal injury lawsuit. As such, a settlement can often help both parties resolve the dispute before anyone is required to pay for a jury trial.
Working with an experienced attorney can help you determine if a settlement offer is in your best interest, as well as help you understand what your costs might be moving forward with a personal injury case.
For more information about how a personal injury attorney in Phoenix can help you with your case, contact Ray Arenofsky at 480-345-0444 or visit our website.