Hey, it’s Drew from Champlain Valley Law. In today’s video, we’re going to talk about case expenses and disbursements in a personal injury case. Now, you may remember from our other video, how do I pay for a personal injury lawyer, that there are two parts to the payment in a personal injury case. The first is the legal fee and the second are case expenses and disbursements.
Today, we’re going to focus on expenses. This money is paid out of pocket by your lawyers with the expectation that we’ll be paid back by you when the case is over.
Now, the types of costs that your lawyer expects to spend money on should be set out in your retainer agreement. In some cases they’re listed specifically, in other cases they’re set up by category. A really important point to remember is that in order for a lawyer to be reimbursed for an expense, he or she must have spent that money on your case specifically, it can’t just be an apportionment of the lawyer’s overhead or general office expenses.
If you’re hiring a lawyer for a personal injury case, be sure and read the contract called the retainer agreement and see what’s listed for case expenses and the types of expenses your lawyer expects to spend money on. While you should be concerned about the overall expense in bringing a case, be careful not to impose unreasonable limits on your lawyer.
You hire a lawyer who you expect to exercise reasonable judgment, and he or she needs to know that you support their plan for your case. And you should be aware that if you appear to be penny-pinching instead of building a good, strong case, the defense will know about it, and it will make them confident in a way that you don’t want to see.
A good idea to avoid surprises is to check in with your lawyer regularly and make sure that you know what’s being spent and what the plan is. This way you can have a discussion if you need to.
So your takeaways from today’s video are these, remember that there are two parts to what you pay your lawyer at the end of the case. There’s the legal fee, which is what you pay your lawyer for his or her time, energy, and expense and then there are case expenses, which are really a reimbursement for money spent.
Case expenses on things like expert witnesses and investigators are really important to build a good strong case. These expenses should be set forth in your retainer agreement or your contract with your lawyer, and you have a right to understand what they are and to know what’s being spent.
So check in regularly. I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, please give us a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel. And if there are any topics you’d like to hear more about, please let us know in the comments section below.
Thanks for watching.
And we’ll see you next time.