I just settled my personal injury case. We were a week away from trial when we settled. When I got my money there was $5432 deducted for court reporter fees. What are they and why did I have to pay it?
The typical fee agreement in personal injury and wrongful death cases requires that the client reimburse the lawyer for out-of-pocket litigation-related expenses. Many times, the most significant of these expenses are fees paid to court reporters.
Court reporters don’t just write down and transcribe testimony in court. They also write down and transcribe the testimony of witnesses and parties during the discovery phase of a lawsuit. There is usually a court reporter at each deposition, and they charge not only for being present but also for writing down and transcribing testimony. In Nashville, a court reporter charges about $2000 for one day of deposition testimony.
The amount of your bills indicates to me that there were several days of depositions in your case. Because your case settled so close to trial, it is also probable that depositions were taken of one or more of your treating doctors.
Court reporter fees are very high. Experienced personal injury lawyers do what they can to keep the costs of court reporters down as far as possible, but the fact of the matter is that they are a case-related expense that is passed on to the client.