A short explanation of the client's responsibility for costs of litigation in an Illinois personal injury case.
In Illinois, a person injured as the result of another's negligence may wish to retain an attorney to pursue a claim for damages. Although injury attorneys typically receive a contingency fee in such injury cases, attorney's fees are not the client's only financial obligation at the conclusion of the matter. In addition to attorney's fees, the client is generally responsible for the costs incurred in prosecuting the case, both before and after a lawsuit is filed.
The following is a list of some costs for which the client may be responsible at the conclusion of his/her case:
Costs expended in obtaining Illinois Traffic Crash Reports, Coroner's Report, or other investigative reports from governmental agencies;
Costs expended in obtaining medical records and itemized billing information;
Costs expended for asset searches of potential defendants;
Parking, copying and other administrative costs;
Court filing fees;
Costs expended in obtaining service on the defendant(s);
Costs for expert's reports;
Guardian ad litem fees (e.g., in minor's cases);
Witness fees for depositions;
Court reporter's fees for time and/or transcripts of deposition testimony; and
Expert testimony fees.
The injured party may not be required to pay costs as they come due; the costs will typically be paid in advance by the law firm and then deducted from the gross recovery obtained by counsel for his client. As a rule, the further a case progresses through litigation, the higher the costs will be. Your attorney should track costs throughout the development of the case, and should be able to provide you with an itemization of costs at your request at any point in the litigation. The client should always take costs and potential costs into account when evaluating his or her options in a personal injury case. Never hesitate to discuss these matters with your attorney.
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