Medical Malpractice Law
How Much Can I Expect An Attorney To Charge To Handle A Medical Malpractice Case?
Hospitals and doctors are expensive, and can be even more of a burden when something goes wrong. Through medical malpractice lawsuits, patients and their families can recover financial compensation after a medical injury. But lawyers are often expensive—what if you can’t afford an attorney?
You can read more details about “medmal” lawyer costs across the country here. Since the costs of a medical malpractice attorney can vary by state and city, it is important to talk to a New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer in a city near you to get legal advice about your injury case. You can also read more about how to pick the right medical malpractice attorney here.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Costs
Most attorneys who believe a case has merit will take the case without payment up front. They will take the case on a contingency basis, which means they will receive a percentage of your award if and when you recover compensation for your injuries. Contingency fees average between 25 and 40 percent.
New Jersey has set limits on the amount of contingent fees an attorney may charge in a negligence action. The most current schedule is as follows:
- 33 ⅓% of the first $500,000
- 30% of the second $500,000
- 25% of the third $500,000
- 20% of the fourth $500,000
- A reasonable amount approved by the court for amounts in excess of $2,000,000
If you and your attorney agree to a contingency fee, the attorney must put the agreement in writing and provide you with a signed copy. Some attorneys may charge an hourly fee or a flat fee for their services.
Out of pocket expenses include such things as filing fees, deposition fees, expert witness fees, exhibit costs, copying charges, and other similar expenses. The attorney’s out of pocket costs are, in many cases, not included in the attorney’s fees. You should be sure to understand how an attorney will bill you for costs. In a medical malpractice case, these expenses can be quite high due to the need for expert testimony and because they are hard fought cases, which in many cases do not settle until they have been thoroughly litigated.