Many personal injury claimants would like to know what costs are included in attorney's fees and what expenses will be added on top of that. In general, when you retain a San Diego personal injury lawyer, you are paying for the attorney's work, time, effort and legal expertise. The fee also includes basic administrative overhead such as rent, files and built-in expenses. However, depending on the specifics of your case, you may incur certain additional out-of-pocket expenses.
- Fees for medical reports. Your San Diego personal injury lawyer will want to obtain copies of your relevant medical records, and most offices charge a copying fee for these. This might be anywhere from a few dollars to a hundred dollars or more for specially prepared reports;
- Photocopy charges. Personal injury cases involve a lot of paperwork, and your San Diego personal injury lawyer will have to make large numbers of copies of documents, such as your medical bills and police reports, just to work on your case. These costs might be passed on to your bill;
- Expert reports. If your San Diego personal injury attorney is seeking testimony or a report from an expert witness in your case, that expert might charge a fee for the preparation of the report;
- Telephone calls. If your case involves long-distance phone calls, such as to other experts or potential witnesses, those costs will probably be included in your bill.
- Photographic evidence. If your case involves photographs, especially if the photos need to be enhanced or enlarged for trial use, the cost of preparing that evidence may be passed on to you; and
- Litigation costs. Filing a lawsuit carries with it its own set of expenses and costs. If your case does not settle and reaches the litigation stage, there will be certain costs as a result.
A common question is whether these fees are due, even if your case does not successfully settle. This depends on the specifics of your fee agreement. Typically, attorney's fees will be contingent upon you receiving a settlement, but out-of-pocket expenses such as those listed above will be billed, even if your case does not settle.
To find out how a San Diego personal injury attorney can help you with your personal injury claim, call Attorney James V. Hairgrove at 619-667-3743.