Law Offices of Thomas F Tobin, III

55 W. Monroe, Suite 3950
Chicago, IL 60603
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Explanation of Case Costs and Attorneys Fees

Explanation of Case Costs and Attorneys Fees

Chicago attorney fee agreement

Chicago attorney case fees image of u.s. dollar

Lawyers many times fail to explain case costs to clients. If a case settles and the lawyer deducts more than his/her 1/3 contingent fee, the client might think the lawyer is cheating him/her. This is not true. The fee agreement states that the lawyer is entitled to a 1/3 contingent fee and repayment for case costs.

Chicago injury case court fees

Your lawyer is not increasing his fee by spending money on case costs. I would describe them as a necessary evil. Sometimes you have to spend money in order to make money. If a injury case does not settle, then a lawsuit must be filed. In my jurisdiction, the lawyer must pay the county $337.00 in order to file a lawsuit. Also, the sheriff has to serve the defendant and this jurisdiction usually charges a minimum of $60.00 per defendant served. These are case costs that I will pay up front but will be reimbursed on a dollar for dollar basis once the case is over. I have to carry these costs, sometimes for years, without being repaid. Thus, your attorney does not profit by running up case costs.

Other examples of case costs:

  • charges for copies of your medical records
  • charges for copies of your medical bills
  • subpoena fees for witnesses to appear for their depositions
  • court reporter fees for depositions and/ or trials
  • police report fees

These are just a few examples but there are many other case costs.

Chicago injury testimony 

The largest case cost is paying doctors to testify. If the case has not settled by the time all witnesses have been deposed, then the injured party will need medical testimony about the client’s injuries from a trained healthcare professional, which is usually a doctor. Even for short depositions, most doctors will charge a minimum of $1500.00 per hour. This is a huge and oftentimes unavoidable mistake. Like I said, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

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