If you were injured by a doctor’s negligence or carelessness in treating your condition, you could be facing additional medical expenses, lost wages, and serious pain and suffering. If you lost a loved one because of a doctor’s medical malpractice, the damage to your life and your family could be far greater. Many people think that hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit is so expensive that they could never do it, but our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras are here to explain how this can often be far more affordable than you might think.
Do I Have to Pay to File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice in Maryland?
Every court case filed in Maryland has a filing fee that you have to pay to the court. This fee helps keeps the court’s doors open and lights on and pays to fund other public services, and it is a necessary part of filing a case with the court. Fortunately, this filing fee is usually not that high. Nearly every filing fee in Maryland is under $50 – but there might be multiple fees to pay for additional filings after the initial filing.
While Maryland usually requires these fees to be prepaid, you can also apply for a waiver. This will allow you to push the payment of fees to the end of the case, so that if you win, you can simply pay the costs out of your winnings instead of paying up front.
In most cases, the filing fees are not high enough to block a case, but many injury victims might still have issues with whether they can afford a lawyer and how much it will cost to put on the case at trial.
Are Attorneys for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Expensive in Maryland?
Retaining an attorney can be quite expensive if you look at their hourly rates. Maryland personal injury lawyers are often well trained and have to put a lot of time and effort into cases, so they will usually bill hourly for the services they perform in your case. In most cases, the cost of hiring a lawyer would simply be too expensive for people to pay up front – especially if they are injured and worrying about how they are going to pay for their medical expenses.
Fortunately, many personal injury lawyers and medical malpractice attorneys work off of a “contingency fee” system. Rice, Murtha & Psoras often use this kind of system for our clients to ensure that they do not pay any unnecessary expenses in their case and that our lawyers only get paid if you do.
A contingency fee agreement essentially says that the lawyer will bill you nothing for their services until you win your case. That means that if you lose and you do not get paid, the lawyer will not get paid either. If you win your case, the lawyer will take a portion of your damages to cover the attorney’s fees. In some cases, attorney’s fees can be claimed as part of the lawsuit anyway, so these damages will ultimately be paid by the at-fault party who injured you, meaning that you really do pay nothing out of pocket for your legal fees.
Contingency fees agreements list all the details of who pays for what and how prepaid costs will be handled. If you are considering seeking help from an attorney, it is important to go over their contingency fee agreement and make sure that you understand how they will be paid so that you don’t walk into any surprise fees. Our lawyers are more than happy to take the time to explain our fee agreements during a consultation.
Is it Expensive to Go to Trial for a Lawsuit Against a Negligent Doctor in Maryland?
The overall cost of trial is usually somewhat expensive. As mentioned, each document you file with the court usually has some sort of court fee, including the costs of filing your initial complaint, filing amended complaints, paying to have the documents served on the defendant, and paying for subpoenas to get witnesses to perform depositions. There are also other expenses often related to a trial that can be expensive – but they will also usually be paid out of your winnings under a contingency fee agreement.
Usually, to put on a trial, you need evidence, witness testimony, and ways to display that evidence to the jury. Medical malpractice cases often require that one of your witnesses is a medical expert who can testify as an expert witness to inform the jury about the standard of care, what surgical errors or medical mistakes occurred in your case, and what your doctor did wrong. You usually have to pay this expert. Additionally, there may be costs to have exhibits made up and printed – and the hours it takes for an attorney to prepare for trial and take depositions can be quite long.
In most lawsuits, especially medical malpractice claims, neither side wants to pay the costs of trial, so most cases are actually settled before going to trial. Our lawyers will work to maximize your damages by working toward a settlement that will cover your costs and attorney’s fees without having to go to trial so that we can keep your expenses low. If the defendant doctor and their medical malpractice insurance company are not willing to pay you the damages you deserve, we will be prepared to take your case to trial and fight to get you the maximum compensation we can.
Call Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
Ultimately, our lawyers always work to get our clients the payments and damages they deserve in their case. If you want to learn more about what your case might be worth and how we can use a contingency fee to help you pay nothing to fight your case, call our lawyers to schedule a legal consultation. Rice, Murtha & Psoras ’s Baltimore personal injury lawyers offer absolutely free, no-obligation legal consultations for new cases. To schedule yours, call us at (410) 694-7291.