Personal Injury Lawyer Fees
- March 20, 2015
- Lisa Morell
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Frequently, we receive inquiries about personal injury lawyer fees for representation in Personal Injury cases. We note that for a number of years the Law Society of Upper Canada has permitted lawyers to charge client’s contingency fees – this means that their fees are payable based upon the result achieved in a particular case.
How Personal Injury Lawyer Fees are Calculated
Generally fees are calculated based upon a percentage of the settlement. That being said how these fees are calculated can vary widely among practitioners and can change significantly depending on the percentage charged (and whether this is including or excluding any costs paid by the defendant or by way the costs that the defendant could pay as part of the settlement or by order of the court).
Further some practitioners will expect clients to pay disbursements (up front costs associated with law suit, ranging from office expenses to the costs associated with obtaining expert reports).
Things to Consider about Personal Injury Lawyer Fees
The final consideration that must not be overlooked is the level of service that you are going to receive for the fees you pay to the lawyer you choose to retain. There are a wide variety of ways for lawyers to deliver legal services to you in connection with a Personal Injury Claim – there are sole practitioners, small boutique firms, larger firms all working with a variety of staff which may or may not include paralegals, case managers and other types of consultants or investigators.
In addition to the above due to constant changes to the Insurance Act the area of Personal Injury Law has become more competitive. Firms are coming into places like Kitchener and Brantford from the Hamilton, London and GTA – how important is it to you to have a lawyer that is available to you on a personal basis in your city as required?
Finally, you need to ensure that whatever law firm you wish to hire is going to represent you on both your claim with your insurer or the first party insurer (accident benefit file) as well as the claim against the at fault driver.
At the end of the day it is a very complicated matter to understand how lawyers are going to calculate their fees in this area of law and in return what level of service they are going to provide. If you have been injured in a car accident the most important thing to do is to retain a lawyer who you feel you can trust who has sufficient support from staff and other professionals in his or her office to provide you with the level of service you will need to get through what can be a complicated and frustrating process. Do you feel beyond the first consultation that they are going to be available to answer your questions and keep you informed throughout the process?
Remember we only get paid when you get paid.