Does it Cost Money to File a Lawsuit?

The cost of filing a lawsuit

When it comes to legal matters, one common question that arises is whether it costs money to file a lawsuit. The answer is not as straightforward as one might expect. In this article, we will explore the various expenses associated with filing a lawsuit and shed light on the factors that determine the cost.

Common Lawsuit Expenses

Before delving into the costs, it’s important to note that attorneys typically try to settle claims before resorting to filing a lawsuit. However, in cases where a settlement cannot be reached, filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. Here are some common expenses incurred during the process:

  • Attorney fees – Attorneys may incur costs such as ordering medical records and bills, making copies, postage, and even meeting with doctors to discuss injuries. If the case can be settled before filing a lawsuit, expenses generally remain low.

  • Filing fees – When a lawsuit has to be filed, there are initial filing fees that need to be paid. For a circuit court civil lawsuit, the filing fee is typically $150. If a jury demand is made, there may be an additional fee of $85.

  • Motion fees – During litigation, various motions may need to be filed. Each motion comes with a filing fee of $20.

  • Additional costs – There are various other costs that can arise during the course of litigation. These include lay and expert witness fees, ordering additional medical records and bills, private investigator costs, court reporter fees, and deposition fees.

It’s important to note that most law firms offer clients the option to have the firm advance the costs. This means that the firm pays all the expenses upfront and then seeks reimbursement from the settlement or verdict. Clients also have the choice to front the costs themselves, but this can become quite expensive.

Contingency Fee Example

To better understand how costs are handled in a lawsuit, let’s examine a real-world scenario using a contingency fee arrangement. Suppose a client settles their case for $33,000, and the law firm has advanced $3,000 in costs on behalf of the client. The $3,000 is deducted from the settlement, leaving $30,000. The attorney then receives one-third of this amount as their fee, which comes to $10,000. The remaining $20,000 goes to the client.

Our Dedication to Our Clients – In and Out of the Courtroom

At Instant Global News, we are committed to providing comprehensive support to our clients throughout their legal journey. We understand that every situation is unique, and we take the time to thoroughly analyze our clients’ needs and goals. Whether a client seeks to settle their claim or pursue litigation, we encourage open communication and are always available to answer any questions regarding fees and expenses.


Q: How much does it cost to file a lawsuit?

A: The total cost of filing a lawsuit varies and depends on several factors such as liability, the extent of injuries and medical treatment, the need for expert witnesses, and whether a lawsuit is necessary. However, it’s important to remember that these expenses are typically advanced by the law firm, and clients do not have to pay anything out of pocket.


Filing a lawsuit does involve certain expenses, but the exact cost depends on several factors. By working closely with experienced attorneys, clients can navigate through the legal process and ensure their rights are protected. At Instant Global News, our priority is to provide exceptional guidance and support to our clients, both in and out of the courtroom.

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