There is no simple answer to the question “how much does it cost to sue someone in Atlanta?” The cost of litigation can vary dramatically depending on the complexity and type of the lawsuit. Minor litigation can still be costly, but large-scale lawsuits can be enormously expensive.
The good news for anyone considering a personal injury lawsuit is that most attorneys will take these cases without any upfront legal fees. Understanding the nature of these costs is valuable knowledge when pursuing a claim on your own.
Suing Someone in Atlanta Creates Costs You Might Not Consider
The cost of suing a person depends because of unique circumstances. However, there are costs you may need to consider:
- Filing fees
- Court costs
- Photocopying fees
- The costs of hiring an expert witness, etc
If you work alone, you cover all these costs on your own. If you work with a lawyer, however, they advance these costs.
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Attorney Fee Structures
There are different ways an attorney could charge for their fees. These approaches typically vary depending on the type of legal claim a person brings. For example, personal injury attorneys use very different fee structures than attorneys that file challenges in probate court.
Contingency fees are common among personal injury lawyers. This type of fee structure is favorable to the plaintiff, as they face no risk of losing money by pursuing their claim. With a contingency fee, an attorney keeps a percentage of any compensation they obtain on the plaintiff’s behalf. This means an injury victim will never owe their attorney anything if they do not recover damages for their claim.
You also will not have to pay upfront. Your team can get right to work for you.
Some attorneys charge by the hour. This is especially common among civil litigation attorneys. Lawyers that charge by the hour frequently require something known as a retainer. A retainer is a pool of money the client must pay to the attorney to secure their services. Attorneys then draw their hourly fees out of that retainer as the work is completed.
Attorneys that handle relatively minor legal issues often do so for a flat fee. While flat fees are uncommon with complex litigation, they are not unusual for simple cases. For example, some attorneys handle uncontested divorce cases for a flat fee.
Some attorneys take a hybrid approach to their attorney fees. This is especially common with criminal defense attorneys. With hybrid fees, an attorney might agree to take on a case for a flat rate as long as it settles relatively quickly. If it appears the case will go to trial or otherwise become complicated, their fee structure could shift to hourly.
The Factors that Determine Attorney Fees
Different factors go into determining what an attorney will charge for their fees. For that reason, it is not unusual to receive two very different quotes from two attorneys offering to take on the same case. The variance in legal fees is one reason why free legal consultations are so valuable.
During your consultation, you can discuss an attorney’s experience and ask questions about their fee structure. Some of the factors that determine an attorney’s fees include:
- Area of law. Some types of attorneys simply charge more than others due to the complexity of the issues.
- Experience. Experienced attorneys with a reliable client base have the freedom to charge more than attorneys right out of school.
- Complexity. The more complex your case, the more likely an attorney will charge more.
- Location. Given the higher cost of living than much of the rest of the state, attorneys in Atlanta often charge more.
- Litigation. Whether a case is likely to go into litigation is also an issue. Attorneys are often willing to charge less if they can resolve a case in short order. For cases that appear likely to go to trial, they often charge more.
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The Difference Between Costs and Fees
It is important to differentiate between attorney fees and the other costs associated with a lawsuit. While some attorneys might not charge their fees upfront, other expenses are unavoidable. The most common costs associated with lawsuits are court filing fees. These filing fees vary from one court to another. For example, the Fulton County Clerk’s website outlines the fees associated with different types of filings.
Costs cover any necessary expenses for filing a lawsuit outside of what an attorney charges for their services. Outside of court costs, other expenses could relate to the hiring of expert witnesses or court reporters.
Many attorneys front some of the costs of litigation. These costs include things like record gathering or deposition expenses. One important question to ask during your initial consultation with a prospective lawyer is whether they advance legal costs.
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Discuss Attorney Fees for Your Injury Claims During a Free Consultation
If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit in Atlanta, Kaine Law is ready to discuss your case. Our firm understands what it takes to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit. If you have questions about our approach to litigation or are curious what it might cost to pursue a lawsuit in Atlanta, reach out for a free consultation.
Call (404) 214-2001 right away for your free, no-obligation consultation.