Economic Concerns in Filing a Wrongful Death Suit

Economic Concerns in Filing a Wrongful Death Suit

Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you are thinking about filing a wrongful death suit after the loss of a loved one, there are many aspects of the case you need to take into consideration. Some of the most prominent are economic concerns. Litigating a lawsuit is a costly endeavor in terms of both money and time. You may not be sure if you can afford the expense of hiring an attorney to represent you.

Contingency Billing

It may be helpful to know that most wrongful death attorneys typically do not bill you hourly as some other lawyers do. Instead, most will only bill you on a contingency basis. This means that if you win your case, the attorney gets a portion of your award, but if you lose, you do not have to pay anything out of your own pocket.


The percentage of the award that a wrongful death attorney will ask for varies on a case-by-case basis. It is fairly standard for wrongful death attorneys to get 30% of the award, or approximately one-third of the total amount. However, the percentage can range from as little as 10% up to 50%.

Sliding Scale

It is possible that your attorney can help you settle the case out of court without having to go to trial at all. This is often beneficial for everyone involved, but it may mean that you are paying a high percentage of your settlement amount to an attorney who put in less time and effort by avoiding bringing the case to trial.

To avoid the inherent unfairness arising from this situation, some wrongful death attorneys will bill you on a sliding scale. In other words, they will charge a higher percentage, say 45%, if they have to take the case to trial. On the other hand, if they are able to settle the case for you out of court, they will charge a lower percentage, such as 15%.

Keep in mind that the sliding scale is in addition to the contingency billing. In other words, if you and your attorney are not able to settle and the court decides against you at trial, the fee that you pay to your attorney is nothing.

A law firm would be happy to answer any questions that you have about the billing policy. A wrongful death attorney can review your case and tell you how much you stand to recover, as well as what their percentage of your settlement or award would be. Find out more information by contacting a law office.

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