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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Ohio Law | What Costs Are There in a Personal Injury Case?

In Ohio, if a victim gets injured because of someone else's negligence, the injured person can seek fair compensation from the at-fault party.


At times, a settlement offer can be made to the injured party, and if they choose to accept, the issue can be settled out of court.


However, there are certain situations whereby the at-fault party or their insurance company refuses to pay damages to the victim.


In such situations, the only way to get paid and have justice is for the victim to sue the other party. Personal injury lawsuits such as this will usually come with a lot of additional costs to both parties.


These costs can be significant, which is why many Ohio residents end up asking the question, "What costs are there in a personal injury case?"


Well, it all depends on the particular circumstances and the type of Cincinnati injury law firm that the victim hires.


Victims who need help fighting for their rights can hire Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. With many years going to war for Cincinnati, Ohio residents, this is one of the top-rated law firms in the state.


Victims seeking help with their personal injury claims can call +1 513-224-5390 to set up a free consultation and clarifications to questions such as How much can I get for my personal injury case?


Fees and Costs in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Fees and Costs in a Personal Injury Lawsuit


Anyone who is considering filing a personal injury case against the at-fault party in a car accident, slip and fall incident, or other similar cases, needs to understand one thing.


Even though they are the victims in this case, there are still some costs they may need to bear until the settlement offer comes.


Knowing where these extra costs in personal injury cases come from will help victims and their legal team form effective strategies for handling them. Once this is done, they will also have to decide who will be responsible for making the payments.


In the hands of an experienced lawyer, these fees and costs associated with Ohio personal injury claims are very easy to understand and manage. Victims who are filing a personal injury lawsuit need to remember the following fees and costs:


Court Costs and Filing Fees

The need to pay court filing fees and costs is why many people would rather settle their personal injury case out of court.


In many cases, the filing fees that the complainant will need to pay are between $100 and $400, depending on various circumstances.


On top of that, the victim will also need to shoulder the cost of serving the summons to the defendant and the daily stipend for the jurors. The longer the personal injury cases drag on, the more these costs will be.


Requesting a copy of the court transcript will also add to the court filing fees. Usually, it costs about $2 to $4 per page to get a transcript.


This is not much, but considering that some transcripts can be very long, the total cost can be as high as $400.


Expert Witness Fees

When dealing with a determined insurance company or legal defense team, the victim may need the help of an expert witness to win the case.


This is common in personal injury cases that deal with hard-to-diagnose conditions, such as post-traumatic distress caused by a car accident.


However, it will take some money to convince the witness to leave their work and attend the victim's personal injury case.


In simple personal injury lawsuits, expert witness fees can be around several thousand dollars. However, the more complex the case is, the more expensive the expert witness fees will be.


It is not surprising for victims to end up paying tens of thousands of dollars to expert witnesses, especially if the case requires different witnesses to argue various points.


Who Qualifies As an Expert Witness?

Usually, an expert witness has to fulfill two important qualities, and these are:

  • The knowledge of complex technical and scientific concepts that allows them to understand the case better than ordinary witnesses.

  • A level of credibility that the judge and jury will give a lot of weight to.

In other words, if the victim is trying to show that they have been seriously injured despite not exhibiting clear symptoms, they will need an expert on that type of injury to help convince the court.


Since very few individuals have both of the requirements of an expert witness, hiring one can be costly. However, it could also be the one thing that wins the case, so these are necessary costs for the plaintiff to bear.


Investigation Costs

When preparing for the case to be heard in court, most of the work done by personal injury lawyers is behind the scenes.


Much of the evidence needed to support personal injury lawsuits is free, such as medical records, police reports, and witness statements.


However, in particularly difficult cases, the lawyers may need to hire private investigators to seek important information or track down witnesses to the incident.


There is no telling how much these information-gathering costs can amount to because each personal injury case is different.


Deposition Costs

In a personal injury claim, a deposition refers to the taking down or recording of a sworn statement by an important witness.


This is usually done in the presence of a stenographer. The two biggest deposition costs are the stenographer's fee and the cost of receiving a copy of the transcript. In most cases, deposition costs for a session that lasts a few hours can be around $500.


Administrative Costs

With every court case, comes a long list of administrative tasks that need to be done. While the fees and costs for these may be small, the number of administrative tasks can be numerous. These usually include:

  • Trial exhibits

  • Legal services/research

  • Travel expenses

  • Copying

  • Postage

The administrative fees and costs for lengthy litigation cases that last many years can stretch to several thousand dollars.


As such, a good personal injury attorney will always try to keep the lawsuit as short as possible to minimize the court costs.


Referral Fees

There are times when the court costs and attorneys' fees start piling in even before the case begins.

This is the case in situations where the victim is failing to find a suitable personal injury lawyer to take the case.


They will be forced to use a referral service for which they will be charged a referral fee for helping them find a good attorney.


However, these types of costs can be easily avoided by contacting the top-rated personal injury lawyers in Ohio. With Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, the personal injury settlement will be in good hands.


Paying Lawyers’ Fees


Depending on the nature and complexity of the case, the attorney's fees and costs may be quite significant. When dealing with medical bills and lost wages, this is not something most victims will want added to their plate.


Lawyer fees differ depending on the law firm that the victim chooses. This is something that needs to be discussed in detail during the initial consultation.


The following are the attorneys' fees and ways of paying that are common in personal injury settlements:


Consultancy Fees

Many attorneys will charge the victim consultancy fees just for meeting them and discussing the case.

However, at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, victims can enjoy a free consultation without being asked to pay any upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. This makes the process a lot more accessible to the residents of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Fixed or Flat Fees

Flat or fixed fees are usually charged as a specified amount that will cover the entire legal service that the attorney is providing.


Such lawyers’ fees are common in simple legal processes, such as writing wills, uncontested divorce, or expungement of criminal records.


Hourly Fee

Most of a personal injury attorney's fees will be structured as an hourly fee arrangement that will cover the time the attorney spends on the case.


This is one of the most common ways of charging lawyer fees, but can quickly become very expensive if the personal injury case lasts a long time.


Retainer Fee

A lawyer's fee arrangement may involve the payment of a retainer. Any costs and lawyer fees that are incurred will be deducted from the retainer.


Thereafter, any additional time that the personal injury attorneys spend on the case will be charged as an extra cost. While on retainer, most personal injury lawyers will guarantee that they will be available to handle the case.


Contingency Fee Agreement

One of the best fee arrangements that a victim can have is a contingent fee agreement. When paying the lawyer through contingency fees, the victim will only pay if the personal injury lawyer is successful in winning the case.


If a lawyer offers to take the case on a contingency fee agreement basis, it is usually a good sign to the victim that the attorney is confident of winning the case.


Furthermore, if the victim loses the case and does not receive any settlement check, they will not have to worry about paying lawyers’ fees.


However, before agreeing to a contingency fee arrangement, the plaintiff needs to discuss every aspect of the payment with the attorney.


In particular, they should compare the contingency fee with the costs of hiring a lawyer and paying upfront fees.


Also, the contingency fee does not excuse the victim from paying the court filing fees and costs. This means they have to decide whether the victim or the personal injury lawyer will be responsible for all these fees until the case is finalized.


Who Pays After Losing a Personal Injury Case?


When a personal injury case goes to court, there is always a chance that the judge or jury may rule against the victim.


Also, there are cases whereby the victim will win the case but be awarded a settlement check that is much less than the cost of medical bills and other expenses.


The fact that the at-fault party or their insurance company is willing to go to court means that they believe there is a good chance that they may win the case or at least not pay the high settlement the victim is demanding.


In such cases, who will be responsible for paying the upfront fees for the court costs? Well, this is something that the victim and their personal injury lawyer need to discuss at the beginning of the case.

There are many options here, including:

  • The victim reimbursing the attorneys’ fees and other court costs in full.

  • All the fees and costs will be split between the lawyer and the plaintiffs.

  • No reimbursement of any costs will be necessary.

What Happens When the Plaintiff's Attorney Is Changed/Fired?


There are cases whereby the victim may choose to fire or replace their lawyer before the end of the trial.

In such circumstances, the attorneys’ fees may need to be paid up to the point the lawyer's legal services are terminated.


There are cases where the attorney may withhold the victim's case file until all the fee agreements have been fulfilled.


Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?


Considering all these costs and complicated fee arrangements that come with hiring a personal injury attorney, many victims may be tempted to simply represent themselves.


However, this is not a good idea, especially if the victim wants to ensure that they receive a fair settlement offer to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.


The following are three reasons why it is important to hire a reliable law firm in most personal injury cases:


Complex Ohio Personal Injury Laws

Ohio has complex personal injury laws that would be difficult for any without a lot of experience to navigate.


A good example is how Ohio uses the modified comparative negligence approach when dealing with personal injury cases.


Here, even after winning the case, the victim may still be found partially at fault for the accident.


This will affect the value of the settlement check they will get and is something the insurance company will try to use to avoid paying a huge amount of money. It will take a determined and experienced lawyer to fight for the victim's rights in such cases.


Determining Fault

The ability to demonstrate who the at-fault party is, and absolve their client of all wrongdoing is one of the most important attributes of a good personal injury attorney.


Determining fault will set the tone for the rest of the trial, and is something that good lawyers gain from having a lot of experience in personal injury cases.


Seeking Maximum Compensation

Finally, seeking maximum compensation in an Ohio personal injury case is not a walk in the park. The insurance companies will come ready to fight tooth and nail for every cent.


As such, victims will require a lawyer who is ready to go to war for their rights if they are to walk away with the settlement check they deserve.


Can the Losing Side Pay the Costs of Personal Injury Cases?


It is common practice that in all cases in the U.S., each party will be responsible for paying their own lawyers’ fees and court costs.


This means the losing party cannot be held responsible for all the costs of the trial even though they have been found guilty.


However, there are certain exceptions to that rule, such as:

  • Attorneys' fees imposed on the other party in the interest of fairness and justice.

  • Contract terms that specify that such payments.

  • Laws that specifically require the losing party to pay attorneys' fees.

How to Balance Costs and Fees in a Personal Injury Case


In most cases, handling massive medical bills, lawyers’ fees, and court costs is a very complex balancing act that the victim needs to master.


Even though they are expecting a huge settlement check from the at-fault party, they have a lot of expenses to deal with in the meantime.


As such, victims need a good strategy when approaching personal injury cases, and an experienced personal injury attorney can help with that. In fact, choosing the right lawyer is the most important part of that strategy.


Ideally, personal injury attorneys who are willing to work on a contingent fee basis are the best options. This ensures that the victims do not have to worry about any extra costs before the case is finalized.


Another important factor to consider is how much the entire personal injury case will cost. Victims need to be able to make realistic assessments so that they are not saddled with unexpected expenses down the road.


All of these factors need to be discussed in detail during the initial consultation so that victims can have a clear idea of what to expect as the case unfolds.


Hire the Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Ohio

Hire the Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Ohio


Without proper planning and sound legal advice, the costs of launching a personal injury case can be debilitating for victims who are already battling mounting medical bills and other expenses.


As such, it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands how Ohio law works and is willing to provide a free consultation to their clients.


In that regard, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys of Cincinnati, OH, is the right law firm for the job. Victims seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit can call the firm's law offices and schedule a free case review today.

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