How Much Does It Cost to Sue Someone?

A lawyer reading from a book as she fills out paperwork at her desk. Next to her is a stack of books, the scales of justice, and a gavel.

In 2022, 40 U.S. states accounted for 11,480,697 civil court cases. Texas had the highest number of civil cases filed in the reporting states. Florida came in second with 1,160,984 civil cases that year, equalling 3,180 cases filed daily. 

Even with valid reasons to file a lawsuit, you may wonder if it’s a viable option. You may be consumed with your recovery if you were injured in an accident, and you may wonder how much it costs to sue someone and whether you can afford to hire an attorney.

Whether you’re suing someone for injuries sustained due to their negligence or for the death of a loved one, the cost to sue for damages includes some standard costs applicable to all cases, as well as contingency fees, which vary based on the settlement you receive — understanding the standard costs applicable to all lawsuits and how contingency fees work will give you a clear picture of what you can expect to pay if you decide to sue someone.

How Much Does It Cost To Sue Someone in Florida?

How much it costs to sue someone in Florida is directly related to the type of lawsuit you want to file. We will look at different types of lawsuits to help give you a better idea of the costs you could incur and whether you have to pay these costs upfront.

How Much Does It Cost To Sue Someone in Small Claims Court?

Florida restricts small claims court cases to claims for $8,000 or less. 

Court and Filing Fees for Small Claims Court

Tampa residents file in Hillsborough County and must pay applicable Hillsborough County court fees. Filing fees vary based on the court and the nature of your case. You’ll pay $55 to file a claim for less than $100, but you’ll pay $300 to file a case seeking damages over $2,500. Pinellas County charges the same filing fees.

You can also incur other costs for issuing a summons, process serving costs, and small claims lawyer fees.

Were you injured in a car accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys now.

How Much Does It Cost To Sue Someone in Civil Court?

Placing an exact dollar amount on the cost of suing someone in civil court can be difficult. However, to give you a better idea of what to expect, here are all the different costs often related to civil lawsuits:

  • Retaining a lawyer: This will be the most significant part of your costs. The actual amount depends on whether the lawyer works on a contingency basis, charges a flat fee, or an hourly rate.
  • Court filing fees: It costs money to file your lawsuit with the court. The amount of these fees depends on the type of lawsuit, the cost of process servers, and so on.
  • Discovery fees: Most civil lawsuits include a discovery process, and there are costs associated with this process. Your lawyer will usually cover the fees upfront, but they will be deducted from your settlement or award. 
  • Expert witness costs: There are costs to obtain expert witness testimony to support your lawsuit

Court and Filing Fees for Civil Court

Hillsborough County court fees for civil claims of $8,000 to $15,000 total $300. However, if you file a claim for $15,001 to $50,000, you’ll pay $400 in court fees. 

Attorney Fees in a Civil Case

Attorney fees vary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that lawyers earn a median hourly income of $70.08 in 2023. Still, lawyers charge more than their salary. Your attorney’s fees may include the cost of paralegals drafting legal documents and investigators gathering evidence for your claim. As of 2023, clients paid an average hourly rate of $327 in legal fees. 

Fees for civil lawsuits, however, vary from typical fees for legal representation.

Free Consultations 

Most attorneys offer free consultations. A consultation allows the attorney to determine if they think you have a valid legal claim; an attorney may tell a potential client they aren’t a good fit if they don’t believe it’s likely to win the person’s claim. Consultations also allow you to see if you feel comfortable with the attorney and whether you like their approach to your case. You must feel comfortable with your attorney because you may have to discuss personal matters while preparing your case.

How Does a Contingency Basis Pay Structure Work?

When a lawyer works on a contingency basis, they do all work upfront without you having to spend anything out of your own pocket. Instead, once they reach a settlement or win the case at trial, they collect a percentage of the proceeds as their legal fee. 

The amount collected also varies based on the value of the lawsuit. For instance, injury lawsuits that run into the millions will mean your lawyer will collect a larger amount. However, due to the complexities of tort laws and injury and wrongful death claims, having an experienced lawyer ensures the best results. 

Furthermore, it is worth noting that getting help from a personal injury attorney for personal injury and wrongful death claims will result in receiving a significantly larger amount of compensation than attempting to settle with the insurance company on your own.

Contingency Fees and Personal Injury Lawsuits

Your attorney typically takes between 33% and 40% of that amount. When you hire an attorney, your contract will stipulate the percentage of your settlement you’ll pay in contingency fees and whether you’ll also pay for expenses, such as filing fees.    

Can I Recover Attorney Fees and Court Costs if I Win My Case?

If you win your case, you can sometimes recover attorney fees and court costs. Whether you can recover these expenses depends on the nature of your case, whether you had a contract allowing you to seek legal fees in the event of a dispute, or whether a statutory law allows you to recover these costs.

“No Fees Unless We Win”

Many lawyers proclaim they only charge legal fees if they win your case. This means they charge contingency fees. Contingency fees are the amount you’ll pay your attorney if you win your case. These fees are a percentage of the settlement or judgment you receive from your court case. Suppose you won a personal injury lawsuit and received $100,000 in damages. A portion of that amount goes to your attorney as compensation for their services.

Is It Worth Suing Someone in Civil Court?

When you need to sue someone for personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, or other civil matters, consulting with an attorney offering a free case evaluation and consultation is often beneficial. The attorney will provide sound legal advice to help you determine your options and the best course of action to achieve the desired outcome.

Filing a Lawsuit

You must take several steps to file a lawsuit, and you may wonder how to get started with your injury claim. 

Collect Evidence 

Collect as much evidence as you can as soon as possible. You may take pictures or record videos immediately after your accident. This effectively captures the accident scene and prevents responsible parties from moving or removing critical evidence that establishes fault. You can also document contact information for witnesses to ensure you can get statements from those present.

Consult an Attorney 

You can contact a personal injury attorney by phone for a free consultation. Consequently, you can seek legal counsel from the accident scene, ensuring you take appropriate steps and protect your rights. 

An attorney will also confirm if you have grounds for a legal claim and how to proceed with your case.

Seek Immediate Medical Care 

Medical records are an essential part of any injury claim. Receiving prompt medical attention helps you establish when and how you sustained injuries, which is essential to any personal injury claim. You should pursue all medical tests recommended to ensure you have a comprehensive diagnosis and receive appropriate treatment for your injuries. 

Calculate the Damages 

Filing a claim means assessing the value of your case. The amount you seek includes economic and non-economic damages. Depending on the circumstances, you may also have a valid claim for punitive damages.

Your attorney will help determine whether you can seek punitive damages and help you calculate the total damages to seek.

Grounds for economic damages include injury-related expenses, such as the following:

  • Childcare costs
  • House cleaning and home maintenance bills
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Personal care expenses
  • Property damage costs
  • Transportation bills

Non-economic damages recognize the personal toll you sustained from your injuries. Grounds for these damages include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of intimacy
  • Pain and suffering
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

You want to ensure you receive enough compensation to cover the costs of your injuries.

Let Your Attorney Take Over

Although individuals can represent themselves, you must learn how the court system works if you choose this option. You will spend much time preparing legal paperwork, investigating your case, gathering evidence, and responding to the defendant’s legal team. Handling these matters can be challenging, particularly if you’ve suffered severe injuries and need long-term treatment.

Attorneys know how to prepare legal documents, file cases, serve defendants, investigate accidents, collect evidence, depose witnesses, and negotiate settlements. Your attorney can complete these steps in less time because they don’t have to research each step of the legal process.

If You Have Been Injured and Are Considering Filing a Lawsuit, Let Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, Fight for You

Suppose you’ve sustained injuries in an accident. In that case, you may be struggling to pay costly medical bills while dealing with loss of income if you’re unable to work while you recover. Even if you’re able to return to work promptly, your accident could leave you with tens of thousands in medical bills, property damage costs, and other expenses.

When you choose Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, to represent you, you can be confident you’ll receive expert legal guidance from a reputable Tampa personal injury lawyer with years of experience fighting for damages for injury victims. 

You can count on us to do the following:

  • Explain the civil lawsuit process
  • Explain your legal options
  • Investigate your claim
  • Identify the person(s) responsible for your injury
  • Help you calculate the total damages to seek
  • File your injury claim
  • Negotiate with the at-fault party

We will also represent you in court if your case goes to trial.

Whether you were injured in a car accident or an accident in a store or another person’s residence, our team is standing by to answer your questions today.

Were you injured in an accident? Contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys now.


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