One of the first things I’m asked is how my fees work in personal injury cases. This is particularly important to people after an accident when they aren’t working and aren’t earning any income as a result of their accident. When your income stops due to a personal injury your life can quickly become overwhelmed with bills piling up and high levels of financial stress.
All lawyers have different fee structures. Some personal injury lawyers ask for money up front. Some lawyers charge their hourly rate as the case goes, and if you don’t pay that hourly rate, they won’t work. Some lawyers work on a contingency basis. It is to your benefit to hire a lawyer that can guarantee you excellent legal assistance without you paying heavy fees upfront. Only in this way can you feel secure that your case is strong enough for a law firm to take the chance of working on your case.
Though, from time to time, any good personal injury lawyer will need a retainer fee, this is usually not required. It is also to your best interested to provide all the information to your personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible: Information such as, the medical reports and findings of your injuries, and witnesses willing to go on record are also extremely important. The more information you can provide to your personal injury lawyer and the faster you can provide this information, the better and stronger your case becomes.
Contrary to popular belief, contingency fees are legal in Ontario. A contingency fee agreement means that the personal injury lawyer will not ask you for any fees until it settles. Once the case settles, your lawyer will take a percentage of the award to account for their fees. The lawyer takes a big risk in this sort of agreement because they risk not getting paid at all if they can’t recover anything for your settlement. But, this agreement is particularly good for the client and their family, because they don’t have to worry about paying their lawyer or funding the costs until the case is resolved.
Personal injury lawyers understand that it can be very difficult for accident victims to fund their cases; which is why many personal injury lawyers have embraced contingency fee agreements for their clients. This is very important, because it gives people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the cost of a lawyer, access to the courts and access to justice.
Your ability to afford an injury lawyer must be easily available. Otherwise you will be unable to get the legal help you need to be compensated for your lost income, including your pain and suffering. It is crucial to hire a personal injury lawyer on a contingency fee basis; which means you don’t have to pay until your case settles.
In conclusion, finding a good lawyer and providing information quickly regarding your case is the best way to win your case. You can normally secure a contingency fee agreement without much trouble to allow you to relax and not worry about paying high upfront fees.