A medical malpractice or a dental malpractice case is expensive, and the two large items are the lawyer’s time and the expert’s time. There are other costs, such as paying the opposing experts when they are deposed by your lawyer. You have to pay for their time, if their depositions are being used by your lawyer to develop evidence. You do not have to pay for the opposing experts to testify at trial, and you do not have to pay the defendants. There are other costs such as paralegal fees, secretarial time, court reporter charges, court filing fees, and document delivery charges, which can be considerable. But, the two big ones that you face right off are hiring a good lawyer and a qualified medical or dental expert.
Lawyers will tell you that you have to pay the costs of preparing your case, which is technically correct. While a lawyer can offer his services for a piece of the action, legal ethics require him to charge you for the expenses and costs of preparing your case, other than his time. That can be expensive, if your case involves a lot of depositions, interviews, and investigations. The costs of litigating a big case can easily run $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 or more.
What do you do? You can finance these expenses in several ways:
You can pay them yourself, as your case moves along on an hourly or fixed amount basis. If you plan to do this, you should receive an estimate from your lawyer before making a final decision. If your case does not require a lot of legal maneuvering, and looks like it will be settled quickly, you may be able to handle these costs.
Your lawyer can advance the money on your behalf as a non-recourse advance. This is the way most medical or dental malpractice cases are handled. At least 80% of people who have suffered from malpractice need financial help. If the lawyer likes your case and thinks he will get a good fee, he will advance you the money. Be sure that it is a non-recourse advance, which means you do not have to repay it, if you lose your case.
In many states, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice or dental malpractice case, who is not involved in a current bankruptcy proceeding, can obtain a pre-settlement cash advance from a company that specializes in lawsuit funding. These companies charge an interest fee of approximately 2 to 3.5%, compounded monthly, on the cash advanced until the funds are repaid in full, which is usually at settlement or an award at trial. They do not take a percentage of the net recovery. These are non-recourse advances, if the case is lost. Your attorney should review the contract and advise you before you sign a lawsuit-funding contract.
JD.MD, Inc., has served the legal communities in the U.S. and Canada since 1978. Contact us at 800-225-JDMD (5363) to have your malpractice cases reviewed by our medical experts and dental experts.