When you hire a lawyer, who pays the expenses of preparing your case?

Lawyers take cases and charge hourly fees or they may handle personal injury claims on a contingency basis, meaning they don't get paid if they don't recover anything for you. But if they succeed they are entitled to a percentage of the damages , which could be a quarter or as much as a third of the money for YOUR injury. Since the lawyer in a contingency case is taking a chance they can make it worth you while...and THEIRS, who pays the expenses of preparing the case? States have different rules. Some allow a lawyer to "advance" the client to cover the costs of things like court filing fees, transcripts and expert witnesses. There are also long distance telephone costs, express mail and messenger service, out of town travel, fax and copying as well as the cost of people who serve subpoenas and other papers. For the successful client, a contingency fee may allow them to hire a lawyer they otherwise could not afford. But when it comes time to count your money remember up to one-third goes to the lawyer, expenses can raise the bill to 50 percent of the recovery or more. So when you hire a lawyer on a contingency fee be aware that even if you win, you may only see 50 cents on the dollar. Most people believe when they win in court they immediately get paid the full amount by the loser. I'll tell you how far you may have to go to collect your judgement in my next report.

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