legal costs and time for a trial can vary, but here's what you can expect

Time and Legal Costs of Lawsuit and Trial Process

The legal costs of a lawsuit and trial can add up quickly. Having an idea of the numbers–both in dollars and hours–that go into the process can ensure you aren’t caught off guard in the middle of the trial. These numbers are estimates and averages, meaning your costs could be less, but they could also be more. Knowing these costs can help you make informed decisions about your case.

Initial Paperwork

Whether you are bringing a suit or you are the one being sued, the amount of paperwork can be overwhelming. The time and cost involved before even setting foot in court may be off putting, as initial filings can require 20-30 hours; essentially a part time job. Hiring an attorney takes the guesswork out of the pages and pages you’ll be required to fill out, and significantly cut down on your time, but of course this comes at a cost that can be around $500. When you finally submit your initial paperwork the cost in Washington state to file can be anywhere from $14 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the type of case and which county you are filing in.

Pretrial Processes

After initial paperwork filings, more time and effort will be devoted to a potential counterclaim or even a third party claim, discovery, possible mandatory settlement negotiations, and then pretrial motions. That’s quite a bit of time, which again, translates to billable hours. This all adds up to significant costs before you even make it to trial.


Depending on the resources and research involved, if (and how many) expert witnesses are used, this can be the most extensive and expensive portion of of the process. An expert witness’ testimony rate can easily be in thousand dollar range. The time involved is also extensive. Having an experienced attorney who can help you navigate this expensive, confusing process is indispensable when it comes to a trial.

After the Trial

Here is where your attorney will wrap up loose ends and discuss the next steps. Whether that involves settlement negotiations, draft motions for rehearing or appeal, or enforcing judgement.

Civil litigation services in Vancouver, WA

The time and legal costs that goes into a case are extensive and can be confusing. If you need assistance determining where and how to start, contact our office today. We have the professionalism, knowledge, and experience to give your case the attention it deserves.

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