Personal Injury Law, What are Case Costs?

What are Case Costs- Personal Injury

Q: My lawyers office told me they would retain 33.3% of my award plus case costs. What does case costs include and how much do they usually run?

A: In the State of New York, filing fees for a supreme court action, typical for a personal injury case are currently $305. However that is not where most of the cost comes in. The next group of costs is related to gathering up evidence, typically medical evidence. Most doctors offices are charging $ .75 per page to copy files. If the client can get these themselves they can save themselves the money rather than the lawyer requesting them. Assisting in your case by obtaining information in  your investigations is always a good idea and we encourage it here at our firm.

The greatest cost in any civil action would be expert services. This includes accident re-creation experts, forensic experts, investigators, and testimonial experts. It’s not uncommon for instance, in a medical malpractice case, for a medical expert to charge $4,000. just to review and give an opinion. Costs of $8-10,000.  per day- plus travel expenses, are common for testifying at trial, or providing even video deposition.

Those  are the most common costs that would come off the top of an award and another reason why cases settle to avoid such exorbitant costs.  You certainly want your lawyer to be well-versed in civil practice and knowledgeable about your situation. Also be advised that some firms will request that YOU pay for expert costs upfront for your case. Particularly if they believe your case is not real strong. By doing so- if you win you recoup your own costs. Most retainer agreements today state the clients must pay costs below a certain figure, say anything less than $500. These cases take anywhere between 3-5 years to settle.
A lawyer offering a quick settlement is likely not doing a proper investigation to determine the full value of your case, and just wants to get you in and out the door. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to meet with more than one attorney before you make a decision. If you feel that you may have a personal injury case and have additional questions, we invite you to give us a call at 315-701-2939  or CONTACT US ONLINE