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Who pays for costs for my case?

Attorneys working on a personal injury case do so on contingency fee basis. In addition to the lawyer’s contingency fee, in Washington the Rules of Professional Conduct 1.8 mandate that the attorney be reimbursed for all costs expended on behalf of the client’s case. This means the client is solely liable for all costs.

The reason why costs must come out of the client’s recovery is to prevent a conflict of interest from arising. If the attorney is responsible for paying for all costs associated with a client’s claim without an expectation of reimbursement, a conflict would arise when an attorney may attempt to save money on a case by not hiring any experts or hiring cheap, inexperienced ones. Furthermore, since all an attorney can offer to a client is her time, if the costs for the case are high and come out of the attorney fee, the attorney will recovery nothing for her time or expertise in prosecuting the client’s case.

There are various costs that may be associated with prosecuting a personal injury claim. In no particular order, they may include:

  • Costs of copies
  • Travel costs such as for ferries and tolls
  • Filing fees
  • Service of process fees
  • Fees for obtaining medical records and billings
  • Court costs
  • Deposition fees and costs
  • Witness fees
  • Expert witness fees

Odama Law, PLLC understands that this is your case and works hard to keep the costs low for you. Before a cost is expended on your case, Odama Law, PLLC will talk to you about the costs involved and why such costs are needed. Open communication is important as we understand how important it is to be on the same page.