Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How to Lower Your Personal Injury Lawsuit Costs

"No fee unless we get money for you!"  That is the personal injury attorney catch phrase of Pittsburgh, PA.  Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.  This means that they do not charge you by the hour but instead are compensated by a percentage of anything recovered.  This relieves the financial burden most plaintiffs would face if they had to pay their attorney hourly to litigate their personal injury lawsuit.

These contingent fee agreements come at no cost to a client unless their is a recovery.  But when there is a recovery personal injury plaintiffs are often surprised by the amount of costs they are responsible for paying back from the proceeds of their recovery.

One of the biggest costs that plaintiffs are often upset about is the cost of expert testimony.  In just about every personal injury case in Pittsburgh, PA a plaintiff needs a doctor to testify on their behalf.  Whether that is a treating doctor to establish their diagnosis, prognosis and causally related medical treatment or in a medical malpractice case an expert to opine on the standard of care.  The standard charge for your doctor's testimony can run anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.  That is A LOT of money and, depending on the size of your case, can really affect your bottom line.

One way I have seen clients reduce their ultimate costs is by contacting their treating doctors personally.  You see, when a doctor receives a letter from a lawyer about giving testimony he has no connection to the attorney.  So he simply sends out his standard charge letter- "Here's what I cost, take it or leave it."  There is no personal connection to the case.  But when that same doctor is contacted by their patient on whose behalf they will be testifying they are often much more willing to give their deposition at a reduced rate.  Because there IS a personal connection, a strong one, between doctor and patient. 

I have worked on numerous personal injury lawsuits in which the doctor's fee for testimony was going to be greater than $4,000.  That is $4,000 that would ultimately be born by the injured person.  In many of those personal injury cases I have notified the client of the cost and recommended that they talk with their doctor personally- the person they have developed a working/treating relationship.  Doctors are compassionate people- why else would they have gone into the healing arts?  So it is not surprising that when faced with their own patients humble request to reduce their fee- this small favor- doctors are often willing to do so.

So if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit and know you will need testimony from your treating doctor to establish your case think about calling your doctor, explaining your situation on a human level and then politely asking them to speak on your behalf at a reduced rate.  In many cases you will be amazed by the response and the benefit to the recovery for your injuries.  If you have any questions on how best to approach your doctor about reducing their fee for testimony, please call or email me. Share this post :
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1 comment:

  1. accident case are very risky for the people. but they don not worry about that matter. lots of injury lawyer are available in the market and all the lawyers are ready to help and protect you. they are also ready to take action according to the law. Layfield Wallace

    ReplyDelete