We’re often asked, “How much does it cost to sue someone?” And the answer is… it depends. The best advice is probably to weigh your options: if you feel you’ve been wronged, a lawsuit may be the only way to make things right—but if you’re just hoping to gain a little extra cash, it’s probably not worth the time and effort.
A good rule of thumb is to estimate how much your lawsuit could potentially be worth when considering whether or not it’s worth it. Let’s look at the factors that might affect the cost of legal action.
Filing fees vary by state. Some states charge higher fees than others, but most require some kind of administrative fee for filing a civil case.
The cost to sue someone can range from $50 to $400 or more depending on the type of case, what court you’re in and how long your case will take to resolve. In Pennsylvania, for example, the filing fee for suing someone in small claims court is around $100, while the fee is closer to $150 in California.
You’ll probably also want an attorney. If your lawsuit involves large sums of money or complex legal issues, having an attorney on your side will likely be very beneficial (and can be required by some courts).
Hiring An Attorney
When it comes to a lawsuit, this is the most expensive part. Attorneys are not inexpensive. They can charge upwards of several thousand dollars per hour, so even if your case is straightforward, you could end up spending a small fortune on legal representation.
The hiring of a brain injury attorney, for example, is a classic example of this. The fees for such an attorney begin at $1,200 per hour. For those who cannot afford that price, there are online title loans available to help cover the upfront costs of purchasing a vehicle.
Having said that, the average hourly rate for attorneys is closer to $250 to $550 per hour on average. The exact cost will vary depending on where you live and the level of experience of the attorney.
Fees for Filing
You must first file documents with the court to begin your lawsuit. This procedure can cost as much as $500. (again, depending on where you live and the specifics of your case).
There are 58-5 good reasons to hire an attorney for personal injury cases.
Fees for Services
Once you’ve filed your paperwork with the court, you’ll need to deliver those documents to the person you’re using to complete the process. Because you’re bringing this person to court, you’re probably not going to want to hand them these papers in person, which means you’ll need to hire a professional process server to do so. This will add another $100 or so to the bill.
During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, both parties will conduct their investigations into both sides of the dispute. This can include things such as the following:
- Conversations with eyewitnesses
- Assembling information
- Asking the other party for information is a formal request.
Each of these things is a financial burden.
Suppose you were injured in a car accident and need to obtain copies of your medical records, police reports, and other relevant documents to support your claim.
In addition, your attorney can speak with witnesses (or take depositions of witnesses). This can cost several hundred dollars per witness and can take several weeks.
And that’s without taking into consideration expert witnesses.
If your case necessitates the use of an expert witness, such as a doctor, the cost of the deposition alone can run into thousands of dollars. These expert witnesses may charge an hourly rate for the time it takes them to become familiar with your case, which can run into thousands of dollars per hour.
Various Other Expenses
In addition to these expenses, there will almost certainly be additional expenses associated with your lawsuit. You should budget an additional few thousand dollars to cover these additional expenses.
Who is responsible for all of this?
You might assume that because your attorney will handle the majority of these tasks for you, they will also cover the costs of these tasks. However, this is not the case.
Your responsibility for these costs does not lie with your attorney, but with YOU! In other words, you are responsible for the cost of all of these things.
Initially, your attorney may be able to cover the costs of these expenses. You will, however, be required to reimburse them after the lawsuit.
So, how much does it cost to file a lawsuit against someone?
It’s difficult to estimate the average cost of suing someone, but you should expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood $10,000 for a straightforward lawsuit. If your lawsuit is complicated and necessitates the use of numerous expert witnesses, the cost will be significantly increased.
Here’s the good news: if you win your case, you should be able to cover these costs without any difficulty at all.
You should, however, avoid going to trial unless you have a strong case to support your claim. Because it is difficult to predict how the court will rule on the case, any trial is fraught with danger. In many cases, reaching an agreement with the other party is preferable to going to court.
The other party will pay you a specific amount of money if you and the other party settle without going through the court system. Even if the other party is forced to work with lawsuit settlement loan companies, you will still be able to collect your compensation.
But keep in mind that just because you’ve settled doesn’t mean you’re no longer responsible for these costs and expenses. Even though you’ll have fewer expenses, you’ll still be responsible for them.
Pittsburgh Injury Lawyers P.C. can assist you with the financial aspects of your claim.
Is It Worth It To Go To Court?
Once again, it is dependent on the specifics of your situation. If you have a strong case and an experienced attorney on your side, suing someone may be worth the expense. You may want to reconsider going to court if your case isn’t as clear and you don’t have a substantial financial resource.