How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Wrongful Death Attorney?
Most reputable personal injury and wrongful death attorneys represent clients under a contingency fee agreement. This means that the attorney doesn’t get paid unless the client receives a settlement or an award from a court. Attorneys working under a contingency arrangement receive somewhere between a third and 40% of the amount recovered, depending on the type of case and other variables. These terms differ from attorneys who work on an hourly rate, charging you regardless of the results of the trial.
What Are the Advantages of a Contingency Fee Arrangement?
Hiring an attorney on a contingency basis has two main advantages for the client. First of all, clients who hire an attorney on a contingency basis don’t have to come up with a large sum of money upfront as a retainer. Most people interested in filing a suit like this don’t have thousands and thousands of dollars to risk on an unknown outcome. Second, an attorney working under a contingency agreement has an incentive to work as hard as possible to recover as much money as possible for the client. The higher the amount the client receives, the more the lawyer gets.
When you first meet with an attorney to discuss your case, ask if he or she works on contingency and what is the contingency rate. You should get a copy of the agreement in writing for your records. If the attorney refuses to provide this, keep looking for other representation.
What Are Some of the Expenses I May Have to Pay Besides the Attorney’s Fees?
Bringing a lawsuit involves some fees and expenses besides the attorney’s fees. Here are a few examples.
- Fees for court reporters, legal transcription, and process servers
- The cost of hiring expert witnesses and private investigators
- Office expenses for postage and copying
- Obtaining medical records from doctors and hospitals
- Filing fees charged by the courts
Some law firms will pay these expenses up front and then get reimbursed when you receive a settlement or court award. Other firms may expect you to pay all or some of the costs as your case proceeds. Be sure to discuss these things when you are consulting with attorneys about taking your case.
When you’ve lost someone you love due to someone else’s negligence, you’re facing an emotional and challenging time. Find a capable, competent lawyer who understands the local rules and procedures to help you handle your case. With contingency arrangements so commonplace, you should be able to find someone to represent you who doesn’t charge a fortune at the outset.