Today's topic is contingency fees and how do you afford to pay your lawyer if you have been involved in a serious accident?
So many people who contact our personal injury law firm have just been involved in a serious accident, whether it's a car accident, motorcycle accident or a slip and fall accident, and they are dealing with a whole host of problems, worries and concerns. Maybe you are unable to work and you are not sure how you can pay your bills.
How Can I Afford A Lawyer after an Accident?
One of the biggest concerns people have is, how can I afford to pay a lawyer when I have to worry about paying my next bills, paying my mortgage, my rent, expenses, etc. That is a really important question and one that we want to take time to answer fully for you. It's a question we spend a lot of time on during our initial consultations, which are also free.
What Is A Contingency Fee Agreement?
You may have heard lawyers advertising, No Win, No Fee or You Pay Us Nothing Unless We Recover Money For You or otherwise refer to a contingency fee agreement. What they're all talking about is really the same thing, a contingency fee agreement, which means you don't pay your lawyer anything, unless your lawyer is successful in recovering money for you at the end of the case. And it's actually really as simple as that.
With a traditional lawyer contract, lawyers would typically get paid by the hour, and many lawyers in Ontario charge hundreds of dollars per hour for their services. With an hourly rate, the client pays for all the time spent on the file, including every call, or email, and anytime the lawyer or staff work on your file. The client is also billed as the case progresses. A contingency fee agreement doesn’t work like that.
What Is Covered In A Contingency Fee Agreement?
In our firm, you will not get any bills from us while your case is progressing. We're not going to charge you for phone calls, meetings, letters, or any of the time that your lawyer spends on the file, or even the staff, paralegal or law clerk time on advancing your case. You never have to be concerned with getting a bill for the many hours that we work on your file.
In addition, we will pay all of the expenses to advance your case, to get it moving forward, and to get it to a successful resolution. That would include things like the cost of retrieving medical records, filing fees at the courthouse, process servers for serving documents, transcript costs... the list goes on and on.
At the end of the case, you never have to worry about how much time your lawyer's put into the case. How many phone calls you had, or letters, or attendances at hearing or meetings. You never have to fear that your lawyer's bill is going to exceed the value of your case because your bill will be very clear. It's going to be a percentage that you and your lawyer agreed upon at the outset. So at that very first meeting or whenever you decide to hire your lawyer, you'll have an opportunity to discuss with your lawyer the agreement and that will include a percentage on a contingency fee. So at the end of the case, you will only be paying lawyer's fees based on the percentage that you've already agreed upon with your lawyer.
What If My Case Goes On For Years?
With a contingency fee agreement it doesn't matter how long the case takes to conclude, because we are there with you whether we can get it done in a year or less, or whether it's going to take us four or five years. Sometimes, unfortunately, litigation can go on for years. And we are going to put in whatever amount of time and effort is needed to get your particular case to a successful resolution for you. And, as the client, you don't have to worry about the extra time costing you more money.
Contingency Fees Are Regulated In Most Jurisdictions
It's also important to note that in most jurisdictions, including Ontario, regulate contingency fee agreements. So that means the language in the contract you signed with your lawyer has already been approved by the regulatory body. Every lawyer has to give their clients accompanying brochures or statements whenever they enter into a contingency fee agreement. This is all done to protect the client, and make the contingency fee agreement clear and understandable.
Equal Access To Justice For Everybody
Serious injuries and accidents can affect anybody. With a contingency fee agreement, you don't have to worry about whether or not you can afford to hire the best lawyer for you. This give greater access to justice, because no matter your financial situation, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can retain and hire the best lawyer for you.
Have Questions? Contact us today!
If you've recently been involved in an accident, and you're wondering whether you should speak to a lawyer, call us for a Free Consultation. Learn more about the contingency fee agreement and how we can help you. We're available 24/7, you can call our office to request a free consultation at 1-866-234-6093.
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada and Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death in Canada and the United States. Andrew is the author of "Are You a Canadian Injured in the United States? Claim the Damages and Insurance Coverage the Right Way".
Main Law Office and Mailing Address
15 Wertheim Court, Suite 303
Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 3H7
1200 Bay Street, Suite 202
Toronto, Ontario, M5R 2A5
10877 Keele Street
Vaughan, Ontario L6A 0K6
Toll Free: 1-877-742-2529
Our Fee Promise: No Fees Unless You Win