Lawyer Fees in Product Liability Cases
The decision to file a lawsuit after an injury can be daunting, especially when you are going up against a product manufacturer or other company. You may be especially concerned about how much it will cost you to sue. Unlike filing for divorce or defending a DUI charge, it won't cost you anything upfront.
Product liability lawyers we recommend almost always charge on a contingency basis, meaning that you don't pay unless you win. If you lose, you pay nothing.
Your lawyer is the one taking the risk. Most product liability attorneys cover all the costs of your case upfront. If you lose, your lawyer not only gets no money from you, but they don't get reimbursed for all that they've spent on your case. These costs are usually thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars. There are various court fees, but the expert witnesses cost the most. In product liability lawsuits, your case rests on the expert witness; in order to win, you have to prove that it was the defect that caused your injury. Often numerous experts are required. In some cases, such as if you are suing because an airbag failed to deploy, the accident itself may have to be re-created by a structural engineer.
Why would a lawyer take such a risk? The reward can be large – if you win, the lawyer's fee is usually a third of whatever you get. In other words, if you are awarded $600,000, your attorney gets $200,000. In addition, he or she will be reimbursed for all the costs of the case (court fees, expert fees, etc.).
Because the payoff is not guaranteed, product liability attorneys are picky about the cases they take. Naturally, they only want cases that they believe they can win. In the area of product liability, this means situations where the injury or injuries are obvious and definite. For example, let's say the air bag in your car fails to open in a car accident, but you only have a few bumps and bruises. This is definitely a product defect that could have had very serious consequences, but if it didn't it likely isn't a case that is worth pursuing. In other words, it's not about what could have happened but what did happen.
However, don't assume that because your injuries were small that you don't have a case. Let an experienced product liability lawyer make that decision. It never hurts to consult with an attorney and it is always free to call us to ask our opinion. The law firms we recommend will also give you a free consultation.
If you're looking for a product liability attorney in Illinois, we know many experienced lawyers and firms with great reputations and track records of success. Please contact us if you would like our help. Your calls and emails are free and confidential.