How Much Does It Cost to Sue Someone?

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The answer to this question depends on several factors. For example, are you suing someone in small claims court? Did you sustain a personal injury due to another’s negligence? Did a loved one die due to negligent factors? 

What damages are you seeking? What is the actual monetary value of your lawsuit? As such, answers to these questions will determine the costs of suing 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 for personal injuries or wrongful death?

For personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, it costs you nothing upfront to sue someone. Instead, our personal injury lawyer works on a contingency basis until they reach a settlement or win your case at trial. If they do not reach a settlement or cannot convince a jury to rule in your favor, you owe them nothing. 

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 if you attempt to settle with the insurance company on your own. 

How much does it cost to sue someone in small claims court?

Suing someone in small claims court in Florida is when there is a monetary dispute, usually for $8,000 or less. To file a lawsuit, you need to pay filing costs, which vary based on the dollar amount of the lawsuit. They range from $55 to $300. You can also incur other costs for the issuance of a summons, process serving costs, and small claims lawyer fees. 

How much does it cost to sue someone for defamation? 

The cost of suing someone for defamation in Florida depends on the impact the other party’s libel or slander has on you. Sometimes, these cases can vary in dollar amount from several thousands of dollars to millions.

As such, you need to weigh your options and determine whether it is worth suing someone for defamation in civil court. Defamation lawyers can work on a contingency basis, charge a flat fee, or require a retainer fee and work on an hourly basis. 

Most offer free consultations to help you determine the value of your lawsuit and the amount it will cost to sue. Alternatively, when you have sufficient evidence, filing a criminal complaint could provide the retribution you seek. 

How much does it cost to sue someone for slander?

Slander is a type of defamation where someone makes false and damaging verbal statements about another relating to their reputation. The costs will vary, as mentioned previously. 

How much does it cost to sue someone for libel?

Libel is the other type of defamation. This is where someone publishes false written statements about another that damage their reputation and standing in the community. Again, the costs to sue will be the same as those for a defamation lawsuit. 

How much does it cost to sue a hospital?

Suing a hospital in Florida usually falls under medical malpractice claims, part of tort laws relating to personal injuries. Medical malpractice lawyers usually offer a free case evaluation and work on a contingency basis. If they reach a settlement or win at trial, the amount they collect for their legal fees can average between 30% and 45% of the amount awarded. 

How much does it cost to sue a doctor?

The costs to sue a doctor also fall under medical malpractice claims handled by personal injury lawyers. You will not pay anything upfront or out-of-pocket. Instead, you will pay the percentage your lawyer collects once they win your case. 

How much does it cost to sue someone for harassment?

Suing for harassment in Florida depends on what type of outcome you seek. For example, you can file a complaint with your local police department to pursue the responsible party being charged criminally. 

However, you can also decide to sue the person in civil court and seek monetary damages for their harassment. Keep in mind that sometimes pursuing a civil case can be a better choice, especially if you want the person to pay financially. 

Personal injury attorneys often handle civil harassment cases. So, the actual upfront costs are nothing. Your lawyer will value your claim and let you know the percentage they will collect during your free consultation should they reach a settlement or win your case at trial. 

How much does it cost to sue someone for assault?

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Assault is another type of offense in which you can seek retribution through criminal or civil court. If you choose to file a complaint with the police and resolve the matter criminally, then there are no costs to you. However, you will not be compensated monetarily.

On the other hand, if you would rather seek monetary damages for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, then you would want to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer in Florida. The costs to hire the lawyer will be a percentage of the settlement or amount awarded at trial. 

How much does it cost to sue your employer?

Suing an employer in Florida is rare, but there are always exceptions. For cases related to workplace injuries, you cannot sue your employer. However, you can file a worker’s compensation claim for monetary benefits as allowed by Section 440 of the Florida Statutes. 

To ensure you receive fair compensation for your workplace injuries, you may find it worthwhile to consult with a Florida workers’ compensation lawyer. Just like personal injury claims, the consultation is free. When you speak with a lawyer, they can determine whether you may have grounds to sue your employer or a negligent third party or only seek worker’s compensation. 

How much does it cost to sue a university?

There are different reasons to sue a university, depending on the type of civil suit you need to file. For example, if you were harassed or assaulted by a member of staff, you would want to talk to a personal injury lawyer. 

It can be quite expensive to sue a university. Sometimes, there are other ways to reach a settlement for damages without having to go to court. For instance, a Demand Letter can sometimes be all that is needed to get the results you seek. You will have to pay your lawyer fees for writing the letter. 

How much does it cost to sue someone in civil court?

As you can see, 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. 

Who ends up paying these costs?

In most cases, the responsible party will pay all these costs once your case is settled or the jury finds in your favor. The total costs will come out of your monetary damages received. It is essential to remember that you are still responsible for the costs of suing someone, whether you have to pay a lawyer upfront or your case is handled on a contingency basis. However, for personal injury cases, you owe nothing if your lawyer cannot reach a settlement or win your case at trial. 

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, it is often beneficial to consult with an attorney offering a free case evaluation and consultation. The attorney will provide sound legal advice to help you determine your options and the best course of action to achieve the desired outcome. 


FLA. STAT. § 768.19. (2022).

Fines and Fees. (2021).

FLA. STAT. § 440. (2022).

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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