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Where Do Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer Fees Actually Go?

October 25, 2016 Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice lawsuit is no walk in the park. These cases are complex affairs that require a thorough understanding of both the law and the field of medicine. On top of it all is the fact that the defendants in these cases are particularly determined to win against you. While it is possible to enter a lawsuit without an Indiana personal injury attorney, walking into a court room without one is stressful.

What Are Your Attorneys Actually Spending Money On?

Understandably, you might be intimidated about the cost of hiring a lawyer. If you’ve started looking around—especially if you’ve never set foot in court before—it can be hard to know what a fair rate is. While every medical malpractice law firm is different, there are some things that all personal injury attorneys will expect to spend some money on when working on your case:

  • Expert witnesses to appear at trials and depositions. Hiring witnesses can sometimes cost thousands of dollars an hour, and it’s not unusual for a witness to spend 20 to 30 hours on your case.
  • Court filing fees.
  • The cost of obtaining medical records from hospitals, which can vary depending on how many pages of records exist.
  • Any miscellaneous expenses that come up, such as making photocopies of documents.

You Have 2 Payment Options in Indiana. Be Prepared.

In a great deal of arrangements, your lawyer will generally pay those costs upfront and you’ll have to cover them later. Injury attorneys want their clients to win, and let’s be honest: They want to get paid, too. Payment arrangement can be worked out in one of two ways:

  1. Firstly, some law firms will charge an hourly rate to work on your case that you’ll have to pay regardless of whether or not you win the lawsuit. If you’re working on an hourly arrangement, it’s possible that you’ll be responsible for your lawyer’s expenses. Most personal injury lawyers, representing the injured persons, rarely work on an hourly rate.
  2. The second option—and what’s more common in personal injury cases—is called a contingency fee. What this means is that the amount you pay your attorney is dependent on the amount of money you’re awarded when your case is settled or when a verdict is delivered in court. In Indiana, this is typically around 33% of the damages, but varies depending on the complexity of the case. In addition, your personal injury attorney will not get paid or reimbursed for their expenses if your case is unsuccessful in settlement or in court.

In a contingent arrangement, your attorney’s expenses and fees are taken out of your damages before they are ever given to you. You never have to write a check or pay for your attorney out of your pocket. For example, if case settles for $100,000, 33% will be the attorney’s fees ($33,000). Additional expenses might be taken out above the 33%,  for example, filing fees, court reporter fees, expert witness fees, etc. In that example, and assuming there are no additional expenses, you would receive a check for $67,000.

Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys Are Here For You

Find a team that wants the best for you. Contact the Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham for a free consultation. Discuss the details of your case and start developing a game plan by calling 317.920.6400 or fill out an online form today.

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