In Addition To The Lawyer's Fees, What Other Costs May Be Involved?

The following are typical costs you may have to pay in addition to the lawyer's fees, even if you don't win your case or settle it out of court:

  •  Certified shorthand reporter charges for taking down testimony at depositions and trials and for providing written transcripts of that testimony.
  • Per page or flat fee for word processing, copying and facsimiles (faxes), and possibly for secretarial time spent on these tasks, including overtime and telephone charges.
  • Expert and/or consultant fees for any time spent in evaluating the case and testifying in court.
  • Court filing fees, and other court costs.
  • Investigators fees for helping to gather facts. Investigators usually charge an hourly fee and also may charge for expenses such as mileage, meals and lodging.
  • Jury fees and mileage fees (set by law) if you request a jury for your case. These expenses must be paid in advance.
  •  Postage, courier and messenger costs for mailing, shipping or personally delivering documents to you or others involved in your case.
  • Service of process fees charged by people who locate witnesses and other parties involved in the case and deliver legal papers to them.
  • Travel expenses for the lawyer while traveling on your behalf, which can include gasoline, mileage, parking fees, meals, airfare and lodging.
  • Witness fees and mileage charges for people who testify at depositions and trials. The amounts are set by law. You also may need to pay travel expenses if a witness must be brought in from far away.
Your lawyer may charge for other costs, as well. Be sure you understand all the different expenses for which you will be responsible. Find out if you will be responsible for paying extra costs directly or if you will have to reimburse the lawyer for costs that he or she may pay on your behalf. It is a good idea to ask for a written estimate of anticipated additional costs. You can also tell your lawyer that costs over a certain amount have to be approved by you in advance.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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