When you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, the medical costs, time away from work, and additional financial burdens can be extremely stressful. Accident victims may consider hiring an attorney to help them recover these expenses, but they are afraid of the cost.
The good news is that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This allows the injury victim access to the legal representation they need when their budget is already stretched tight. The lawyer benefits from gaining access to clients.
Understanding the expenses and advantages can make your decision much easier if you are considering whether or not you need an attorney. Let’s take a closer look at the costs and fees involved in hiring a slip-and-fall attorney in Florida.
Understanding Contingency Fees – If You Don’t Win, You Don’t Pay – Is That True?
Yes, for the most part. It depends on the lawyer you use. Many attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they must win your case to get paid. The contingency fee arrangement makes finding competent legal counsel much easier.
Regardless of whether you win or lose, it is crucial to read and understand your contract to avoid any surprises down the line. If your lawsuit is unsuccessful, your attorney may not charge you any fees but may ask you to cover some of the costs associated with building your case.
You should ask your Florida slip and fall attorney about these fees during the consultation. This way, you can get a clear estimate of the slip and fall lawyer’s fees before you agree to hire them to prevent misunderstandings and unexpected charges.
For a free legal consultation, call (239) 334-3933
What are the Costs and Fees Associated With a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
Although the words “cost” and “fee” are frequently used interchangeably, they have different meanings in the legal industry. Personal injury attorney fees are the costs an attorney assesses for taking on a case.
Most personal injury lawyers pay a contingency fee for their services. Contingency fees can range from 30-45% of the settlement or court-awarded compensatory damages. The average percentage is typically 33.3%. The lawyer’s fees are paid from that amount once the case is done.
Costs, on the other hand, refer to all additional out-of-pocket costs related to a lawsuit. The attorney will take on these costs as the case moves forward. Costs can include:
Filing Fees and Court Costs
The filing fee for the complaint is part of the court costs. Typically, this costs between $100 and $400. If the matter proceeds to a jury trial, paying the jurors’ daily stipend will be essential.
Court costs will also include the cost of notifying the defendant of the summons and complaint. A slip-and-fall attorney will typically take care of these costs until the case is resolved.
Expert Witness Charges
Having an expert witness evaluate your case, create an expert report, and testify at trial might cost several hundred dollars per hour. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars in a complicated case, especially if you need to hire multiple experts.
Nevertheless, expert witnesses can make all the difference in a personal injury claim. Remember, though, your own doctor will almost always be a more valuable expert witness for you at trial than an expert witness for hire.
A deposition is the recording of sworn, non-trial testimony. Typically, a stenographer is present while questions are being asked of a witness.
The party who requested the deposition will pay for the stenographer’s time and a copy of the transcript. This can add up to around $500 for a couple of hours of deposition time.
Administrative costs, including research, travel, postage, copying, and other expenses, will be necessary in every court case. This won’t amount to much more than a few hundred dollars in a short and straightforward case with minimal document-based evidence.
These administrative costs, however, might amount to several thousand dollars in lengthy litigation. The personal injury attorney handling your Florida slip and fall claim can explain these costs in your initial consultation.
Costs of Investigation and Evidence Gathering
In many instances, the cost may not be significant. Most of the time, these costs are minimal. It’s easy to obtain medical and police reports for free or for a small charge.
When more investigation or research is required, such as when a private investigator is hired or an individual is required to perform a task that can only be done in person, the cost of acquiring this information can become rather high.
Knowing how much money you have to spend on a lawyer might help you make sensible decisions about your case. You can better plan for the future and be ready for any unforeseen expenses that may come if you are aware of the costs of a Florida slip-and-fall attorney and lawsuit up front.
Learn More About the Costs and Benefits of Hiring a Florida Slip and Fall Lawyer
Insurance companies sometimes tell policyholders that they don’t need an attorney or that the price will outweigh the advantages. In some small claims with minimal injuries, this can be true, but many times an attorney can help to maximize your compensation even if your case never goes to court.
Since the personal injury law firm of Viles & Beckman offers a free consultation, you have nothing to lose by finding out more about your legal options. We can help handle the insurance adjusters, ensure you don’t face unexpected delays, and negotiate to get you the best possible outcome.
The bottom line is this: If you need legal assistance, don’t let the common misunderstanding – that lawyers are too expensive – prevent you from getting it. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.