Civil lawsuits arise when a plaintiff claims that another party (defendant) has failed to adhere to their legal duty and has consequently caused significant harm or distress. When you are wronged outside the scope of the criminal justice system, filing a civil lawsuit may be the only solution.
Filing a civil lawsuit may end up costing you money or significantly reduce the amount of compensation you win. Apart from the fees of an attorney, there are multiple other costs to take into account. These may include witness payments, filing fees, and document preparation fees. It’s difficult to determine the exact cost of a civil lawsuit because it completely depends on the attorney you hire and the place you reside in.
There are a variety of attorney fee structures that exist. Here are some of the common ways in which legal fee structures are arranged:
Usually, every attorney has an hourly fee structure. These hourly rates vary depending on the city and the experience of the lawyer. Hourly fee arrangements work for clients who are looking for an isolated service. For instance, if you wish to hire an attorney to examine a severance agreement, an hourly rate fee structure is perfect.
If you plan to file a lawsuit, an attorney may agree to a contingent fee. This is usually a percentage of your recovery money. In such arrangements, the lawyer seeks payment only when you win monetary compensation.
There are times when attorneys ask for ‘refundable retainers’. Retainers are meant to cover non-fee expenses such as costs of depositions, expert witness fees, and filing fees. Usually, the lawyer withdraws funds as needed to pay for costs that come up.
Just like any other professional you hire, you can also negotiate on a lawyer’s fee. The best way to decide the fee structure is to evaluate your losses and maximize the possible outcome.
It is always advisable to seek the help of a lawyer. A solicitor is well versed with all the legal technicalities and also takes a significant amount of load off your shoulders. If you cannot afford an attorney, the only other option is to file a claim on your own to prosecute the defendant.