Dealing with a lawsuit can prove incredibly expensive. In the long run, you may come out well ahead financially since you will receive the funds from the lawsuit. Unfortunately, in the meantime, you may have to contend with legal expenses.
How much does it cost to sue someone? It may depend on what type of lawsuit you need to file and the steps you need to take to receive compensation.
In This Article
The Average Cost of a Lawsuit
On average, a lawsuit costs approximately $10,000 for a simple suit. However, numerous factors can influence the cost of your lawsuit.
Duration of Services
The longer you find yourself working with an attorney, the higher your legal fees may be. This is because your attorney may need time to collect evidence, put together a case, or negotiate with the liable party or the liable party’s insurance company.
Type of Lawsuit
Often, the type of lawsuit you need to file can have a significant impact on how much it will cost. Lawsuits may fall into several basic categories:
- Breach of contract
- Product liability
- Personal injury
- Warranty violation
- Property disputes
- Bad debts
- Discrimination or harassment
In some cases, you may also need to sue for divorce.
Sometimes, you may have unexpected legal fees, including court filing fees, as you move forward with your case. Any type of court filing fee can increase your costs.
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How Legal Fees Are Determined
Working with a lawyer is often the most expensive part of your lawsuit. Legal fees can fall into several different categories, depending on how your attorney chooses to manage your lawsuit and your fees.
Some lawyers will start with an hourly rate. For each hour, or portion of an hour, that an attorney works on your case, your legal fees will increase. Hourly fees often serve as the most effective type of arrangement for minor legal disputes and services since you likely will not need many hours of an attorney’s time.
Keep in mind that some attorneys may charge a minimum total fee to deal with your case, even if it takes fewer hours than anticipated.
In many personal injury lawsuits, the law firm will accept a claim on a contingency fee basis rather than demanding payment up front from a client who may not have it. In a contingency fee case, the client generally only pays if the attorney wins compensation. Contingency fees are paid out when the attorney wins the case and are generally based on a percentage of the compensation the client recovers.
Some lawyers will charge a flat fee for some services. For example, if you hire a lawyer to manage a property dispute, the lawyer might charge a flat fee for filing with the court.
Many lawyers who help deal with lawsuits may not choose the flat fee approach since time spent working on the case can vary dramatically between one claim and another. However, in the case of seemingly minor claims, you may work with your attorney on a flat fee arrangement.
Retainer fees help secure a lawyer’s services even when you may not necessarily use them. Businesses, people who may have a lawsuit pending, or people who regularly deal with lawyers will often pay retainer fees to serve as a down payment against future costs and ensure that they have a lawyer on hand if they do need legal services for any reason.
How to Know What Legal Services Will Cost
Talk to a lawyer about what it will likely cost to sue someone before you retain a lawyer to help deal with your lawsuit. A lawyer should provide you with a clear breakdown of what legal services will cost up front so that you can use that information to determine which lawyer you want to use and how to manage your finances in the future.
How You Can Pay for Legal Services
Often, paying for legal services can feel impossible. You may deserve substantial compensation through a lawsuit, but if you cannot afford the cost of a lawyer, you may not be able to get the money. There are several options that can offer you financial support during the lawsuit process.
Contingency Fee Arrangements
Talk to the lawyer you’re considering hiring to determine whether you can work out an arrangement for them to accept your claim on a contingency fee basis. In many cases, if the attorney believes you have a strong likelihood of winning your case, you will be able to settle on a fair contingency fee arrangement that will prevent you from having to worry about finances while managing your claim.
Use Legal Funding Services
Pre-settlement legal funding can make it much easier to pay expensive legal fees and manage your other expenses while dealing with a complex lawsuit. Look for a lender that will not require repayment if you lose your case, which will help ensure that you don’t lose the money you pay for those legal services. Make sure you have a solid idea of the pros and cons of lawsuit loans as you decide how you want to handle your legal costs.
Take Out a Loan
Taking out a loan can mean expensive interest payments, especially if your lawsuit ends up taking longer than anticipated. However, in some cases, a personal loan can help provide the funds you may need to cover the cost of expensive legal services.
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Contact High Rise Legal Funding to Learn About Our Legal Funding Options
If you’re struggling to manage the cost of legal expenses, High Rise Legal Funding can help. We provide pre-settlement funding for legal expenses and the other costly expenses you may have to deal with while you wait for the results of a lawsuit.