Costs to Expect During Litigation

Each Seattle injury lawyer uses a unique fee agreement that may differ from other attorneys’; however, certain principles are over-arching with regard to attorney’s fees and costs, especially regarding personal injury litigation. Personal injury cases can result in a large payout to the client, but may take many months – or even years – to resolve.

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What Costs Are Typically Included in  the Attorney’s Fees?

In addition to the attorney’s hourly wage, costs may include office overhead, payroll costs, printer, ink and toner expenses, and other built-in costs necessary for litigating a personal injury case.  Costs that are business overhead are not the responsibility of the client and are not billed to the client. Understand that it is expensive to operate a law firm and your Seattle injury lawyer is not pocketing the entire amount of the attorney fee.

Are Clients Responsible for Other Costs?

In additional to business overhead there are costs associated with representation of a given personal injury client. By law, a personal injury attorney may front these costs but is required to hold the client ultimately responsible for these costs.   Under the Rules of Professional Conduct “a lawyer may advance or guarantee the expenses of litigation provided the client remains ultimately liable for such expenses.” RPC 1.8.(e)(1).

In any personal injury case – but particularly in a large and complex personal injury cause of action – expert that investigate and prepare to testify can become extremely costly.

Doctors’ offices routinely charge a fee for medical reports, copies, and postage. Your Seattle injury lawyer will usually front these costs. Insurance companies commonly require voluminous copies of all medical bills, police reports, witness statements, or lost income information which may require additional copying expenses. Other expenses can include photographs, court reporter fees, and court costs.

Understand that these routine out-of-pocket litigation costs will be due regardless of the outcome of the case. Even if a client does not have to pay the attorney a fee due to an unsuccessful result, in compliance with Rules of Professional Conduct that apply to every personal injury attorney, the bill will still reflect the litigation costs.

If you are considering a personal injury action and would like to speak to an experienced Seattle injury lawyer, please call attorney Travis Eller today: 206-801-1188.

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