In a personal injury matter, such as a car accident case, a contingency fee agreement is customary. This type of fee agreement provides that a certain percentage of the settlement proceeds, usually 1/3, are payable to the attorney as a fee for legal work in the case. The trade off is that if there is no settlement or monies owed than the attorney simply does not get paid.
With a contingency fee arrangement, so long as the attorney agrees to continue to prosecute the case, he or she is usually liable for litigation costs. These costs include but are not limited to:
- Fees and charges for medical or other records
- Deposition transcript costs
- Expert witness fess
In certain cases these costs can be substantial running into the ten of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in very complex matters.
There are exceptions to the general rule that the law firm will pay the litigation expenses up front. These exceptions generally apply, as the case progresses, the firm is not confident that a particular case is not strong. In such circumstances, it may be incumbent upon the plaintiff to front the litigation expenses if they wish to proceed with the case.
Each case is different but litigation expenses can be substantial.
If you have any questions about a potential personal injury matter, please feel free to contact our firm.