When an attorney speaks of the expenses to file suit what are those expenses and how much?
Since you're posting on an auto accident board, I'll frame my answer accordingly. Almost always, the court will charge a filing fee. Depending on where the suit is filed, that could be less than $100 or nearly $500 (I don't think I've seen any civil court with a filing fee for an ordinary civil lawsuit in excess of $500). Then you have the cost to serve the summons and complaint on the defendants: generally around $50 on up, per defendant, depending on how difficult it is to find/serve each defendant. Some courts charge for pretrial motion. I think the highest fee I've seen for that is $100. Depositions cost upwards of $1-2k for the party noticing the deposition. Other parties may buy a transcrips for a few hundred dollars. Probably the biggest expense is for expert witnesses. The range of expert witness fees is huge, but my guess is that it'll be a minimum of $2,500 and could easily exceed $10k. Of course, it's possible to settle before depositions and experts are needed. On top of that, attorneys commonly charge for copies and other internal services of that sort.
They should already have the medical records and located near the court.
It's not clear who "they" are (especially given your reference to "an attorney"). Any attorney filing a personal injury lawsuit should obtain the client's medical records in advance. Maybe the client provides them; maybe the attorney gets them directly from the doctor(s). Either way, the client is going to pay for copies. The lawyer's proximity to the court is of relatively little relevance unless the lawyer bills the client for mileage.
It seems the lawyer for the insurance company would have far greater expenses due to their location and lack of medical records. However they should or might have an in house lawyer being a large company = ?
I'm not sure who "they" are. All insurance companies have in-house lawyers. However, very few insurance companies have in-house lawyers who serve as counsel of record in litigation matters. Most use outside counsel for that, and they don't hire lawyers who aren't reasonably close to the courts.
When should the demand letter be sent if the deadline to file suit is say 3 years.
When the facts dictate it is appropriate to do so. Among other things, damages should be reasonably clear and fixed.
It was suggested it needed to be sent 6 months before the deadline.
Suggested by whom? And why on Earth would one want to wait so long (unless the facts are so unclear or damages so uncertain until then).
Wouldn't there be a greater chance of a settlement if the demand letter was sent before 6 months left or do settlements not take anywhere close to 6 months.
The "chances of settlement" have little, if anything, to do with how soon before the SOL expires a demand letter is sent. The "chances of settlement" are far more dependent on the merits of the claim and how much or how little the plaintiff inflates his/her non-economic damages.
Can a settlement be reached or suit filed if the patient has ongoing medical issues and has not been released by the doctor.
A settlement can be reached at any time. Settling while treatment is still ongoing is often not the best plan because the plaintiff risks being undercompensated.
Since it seems that both sides want to avoid a suit how does this mutual desire affect the settlement talks.
If both sides want to settle, it typically makes it more likely that they will settle.
Legal fee goes from 33 to 40% if there is a suit so does that extra 7% cover the legal fees for the injured?
I don't understand the question. Obviously, the plaintiff's lawyer will do additional work if a lawsuit is filed. Where the plaintiff's lawyer takes a higher percentage after suit is filed, the higher percentage recognizes this additional work.