This process of suing someone in the state of South Carolina can be quite confusing and overwhelming and it often leaves victims left wondering how much does it actually cost to sue someone? The answer varies depending on what state you live in and what your case entails, but down below are some answers to your most frequently asked questions so that you can gain a better understanding of how much it is going to cost you to sue someone and whether or not it is actually worth it.
What Are Contingency Fee Agreements?
With contingency fee agreements, the client(s) agree that the attorney’s fee will be a certain percentage of any recoverable compensation from the court case, rather than paying the attorney a traditional hourly rate or flat fee basis (what we call a retainer). This specific percentage that the lawyer will receive will be different depending on the details and outcome of the case.
These contingency fee agreements are of great value to those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford to hire an attorney upfront yet still want to have the same opportunity for their legal constitutional rights to be protected and defended by a lawyer.
What Is an Example of a Contingency Fee Agreement?
If you were looking to hire an attorney to help you file for divorce, then you would need to go down the traditional path of having to pay a retainer upfront and then pay your lawyer throughout the legal process for covering their fees and other related costs (so, not a contingency fee pay structure). This can become quite expensive for the average person.
On the other hand, if you were looking to hire an attorney to sue someone who violated your rights and freedoms, then you could pay the lawyer through the contingency fee agreement, meaning that they will receive a certain percentage of the recovery in your case. This makes it more affordable for people to hire legal services and to have their rights properly upheld in a court of law.
How Much Does a Consultation Cost?
When you are bordering on the prospect of suing an individual or organization, you may want to know more about the legal process altogether, the chances you have at winning, and whether or not it is a good and smart idea to go down this path. Almost all law firms and legal organizations offer consultations with prospective clients in order to learn more about their cases but also provide victims answers to these aforementioned questions.
Fortunately, these consultations and case evaluations are completely free, so there would be no need to worry about the affordability of just sitting down and speaking with a lawyer about your case.
What Occurs During a Consultation?
When you sit down with a lawyer from Shelly Leeke and discuss your case, some of the things will you chat about will include:
- Your legal rights based on the details of your case
- Your legal pathways to obtain financial compensation
- Potential issues with your case
- The timeline of your case
- Whether or not the statute of limitations in South Carolina applies to your case
- Our firm’s fee structure/payment plan and the percentage of your recovery that we take
- Out-of-pocket costs in case we don’t win the legal battle
Overall, your free case evaluation should help you better understand how attorneys approach lawsuits like yours, how our firm operates altogether, and whether or not the Shelly Leeke law firm is a good fit for you and/or your loved ones.
What Are the Filing Fees?
A filing fee is something that you would have to pay in order to officially file a legal claim and begin your case. According to the South Carolina Justice Department, the cost of a filing fee for a new case is $150.00. And any additional written motions have a filing fee of $25.00
If you are unable to afford the filing fee of $150.00, that is okay. There is still an option to file a claim and fight for your legal rights even tho you don’t have the money. You can file a motion called the “Motion and Affidavit to Proceed in Forma Pauperis.” This is essentially just asking the judge to waive the filing fees, which they may or may not choose to do.
By filing this motion under Rule 3(b) of the South Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, you are swearing under oath that there is no way possible for you to be able to afford the payment of the initial filing fee.
What if Someone Is Suing You?
If you or someone you know has had a small claims court complaint filed against you in the state of South Carolina, then you have a total of only 30 days to answer the complaint. If the complaint has a value of $25 or less, then you only have 5 days to answer it, under South Carolina state law.
Answering the complaint can come in the form of either a written statement or showing up to the courthouse and answering it orally in person. If you do not answer the complaint on time, then the small claims court will enter default judgment which means that you lose the case and are required to pay up.
If you are being sued in a small claims court, then you should not only answer the complaint, so you can avoid losing by default, but you should hire a lawyer to help build your case and fight for your legal rights. The best way for you and your legal team to present your case would be to prepare all documents and exhibits, subpoena witnesses, not interrupt the judge or witnesses, and watch out for hearsay from the prosecution team.