When hiring a personal injury lawyer, there are a lot of factors to consider before signing an agreement. This can include their office location, if there is a free consultation, their specialties, and ultimately, their fees. According to a Jersey City personal injury attorney from Brady, Brady & Reilly, LLC, “Hiring an attorney removes the legal burden from your shoulders and allows you to focus your full attention on healing.”
One thing that can be easily forgotten is the other legal expenses that come with filing a personal injury claim. Legal expenses are the costs that an attorney will incur during the preparation and prosecution of your case. These expenses may be lumped into the attorney’s hourly fee or sent as an itemized bill. Learn more below about what can be considered a legal expense when working with an injury lawyer.
Expert fees: Depending on the complexity of your case, you may need an opinion from an expert such as a consultant or another professional. This can include a variety of professionals who are better equipped to advocate for you, such as a doctor, safety expert or an accident reconstructionist.
Court reporter fees: If depositions are taken, then a court reporter’s services will be required. A court reporter creates word for word transcripts of depositions, trials, administrative meetings, and more.
Faxes and copies: Many firms will track the use of copies and faxes for each specific case and charge per page. Some cases involve large amounts of paperwork and both the time and resources you are counted as an expense.
Filing fees: Many courts usually require a filing fee to be paid before starting the court process.
Travel expenses: If the attorney or a member of their staff is required to travel to attend depositions or court hearings, the hotel charges and mileage costs are typically charged to the client.
Medical records: The case may require important records, such as certified medical records from physicians and/or hospitals. There may be small costs required to attain these.
Courier fees and postage: If the legal documents require a courier service or special types of postage, the client will be required to pay for this expense.
Ask about Potential Legal Expenses
During your initial consultation with your injury lawyer, it’s important to ask about what are common legal expenses to expect, as well as some that may pop up. There are many expenses that are not listed above that will come up during the process. It’s a good idea to have an idea of these initially, as well as to ask the lawyer for a written estimate of anticipated costs. If you are concerned about the cost, you can also tell your lawyer that you’ll need to approve costs after a certain amount is billed. Another option could be to negotiate these costs with your lawyer during the initial stages.
Can Legal Expenses be Reduced?
If you have already discussed and decided on a set rate with your attorney during the initial consultation, you can take steps to control and limit your future legal expenses. It’s important to be organized and efficient to keep your legal expenses low. This can include regularly examining your bill to ensure you are paying upon the agreed up amounts. If additional expenses pop up during the preparation and prosecution processes, you can work with your lawyer to negotiate or figure out a payment plan.
Any type of personal injury case can be extremely taxing on a person mentally and physically. In this case, it’s important to limit stress in every way possible, especially financially. By understanding the differences between legal fees and legal expenses and what you’re able to afford, you can make the personal injury process go much smoother for both you and your lawyer.