What are the out-of-pocket expenses of a typical asbestos lawsuit?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Each lawyer decides independently whether or not s/he will advance the expenses on your case, subject to his or her state’s law. The lawyer’s decision may depend on the nature and strength of your case, who the other party is, whether they have adequate insurance, and whether the lawyer has reason to expect that you will follow through with the matter, and not change your mind.

Expenses can include such things as court filing fees, the costs of obtaining records, transcripts of testimony, the costs of expert witnesses, investigative services and travel expenses. They can mount up. Generally the expenses will be deducted from your recovery if your case is successful. In some states the law requires you to repay the expenses out-of-pocket if you are unsuccessful.

By the way, your contingency fee may be calculated on the recovery before or after expenses. Therefore, the contingency fee agreement and expenses should be in writing. The client should always have all questions about the arrangement answered and settled before signing any contingency fee agreement.

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