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 on 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. 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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Do I Have to Sue Someone to Get Compensation After an Accident?
No, you do not have to sue after an accident in order to collect a recovery. You could negotiate for a fair settlement from the insurance company that covers your past and future accident-related losses. However, insurance companies do not often fully pay out claims, as their business model hinges on paying out as little as possible.
So, accident victims often have to turn to the court to obtain a fair financial award for their losses.
Choosing the Right Attorney for Your Case
If you want to team up with a lawyer that will handle your case, you might be overwhelmed by the choices out there. Some important things to remember in this process are:
- You can utilize client reviews to get an idea of how the firm will treat you
- Not every lawyer handles the kind of case you are dealing with
- You can browse the firm’s website for more information
What Will Suing Another Party Involve?
When you file to sue someone, you will have to pay a filing fee. You will also need all the information that supports your case. This is because you need evidence to obtain a financial award. You can negotiate with the other party for a settlement before you make it to the court date, though.
If the other party does not settle before this, however, you would have to take your evidence to court and argue for a judgment. You would also need to pay court fees and understand all the processes, paperwork, and language involved with this stage. Hiring a lawyer makes this easier, as you do not need to concern yourself with the moving parts.
Discuss Attorney Fees for Your Injury Claims During a Free Consultation
If you consider 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.