Being involved in litigation can be challenging on many levels. A fair amount of time is needed to prepare for each phase of the process, including discovery, possible settlement, and the trial. In addition, although some attorneys agree to take the case and accept a percentage of the settlement amount or trial award as payment, others will need to be paid separately. Additional fees may be needed up front for depositions, official records, and related expenses. To ensure that you can afford the attendant costs of a lawsuit, here are four possible ways to ensure you have adequate funds if needed.
If you have a savings account, add a little more to it each month to cover the litigation costs. Ask your attorney for an estimated budget to finance your lawsuit, and increase your monthly contributions accordingly. Even if this means giving up your morning latte, the sacrifice will be worth it when the money is available for legal expenses.
Borrow from Relatives or Friends
Although business and family do not always mix well, sometimes a loved one or a close friend will lend the funds on a short-term basis. If you are expecting a future inheritance, your relative might even give you part of it in advance to cover the legal bills. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but be sure to repay promptly to avoid relationship damage.
Ask Your Attorney
Sometimes an attorney will advance the legal costs needed to further the lawsuit. These expenses will be documented with the case, and they will be repaid to the attorney from the proceeds of your compensation. Because the outcome of a case is not usually certain, some attorneys are reluctant to cover expenses up front. Some, however, will do so if they trust you.
Get a Loan
A bank or credit union may be willing to authorize a secured or unsecured personal loan for legal fees. Approval often depends on your credit score, payment history, and current finances. Check with your regular bank or a financial institution that offers good terms for a loan of this type. You may want to do some comparison shopping to get the best loan available.
No one should have to drop a lawsuit due to the inability to pay for legal expenses. Explore the above options to secure the funds needed for legal fees. Your financial standing will likely determine if others will help or if you can get lawsuit loans.