Contingency Lawyer Fees: When and How is Payment Expected?
Legal fees are an important consideration when hiring a personal injury or Long-Term Disability lawyer. Contingency lawyer fees are one way law firms are able to provide services to accident victims who lack the resources to pay upfront, out-of-pocket fees.
How Contingency Lawyer Fees Work in a Personal Injury Case
Contingency fees depend upon the personal injury lawyer’s ability to secure a favourable outcome in a claim or lawsuit. The client does not have to pay any lawyer’s fees unless the lawyer recovers financial compensation for the client.
If the client loses the case, the lawyer receives no money. A client who loses his or her case still may be required to pay certain legal fees, such as court costs and other associated expenses. This is why it is so important to discuss anticipated fees and costs before hiring a lawyer.
In a contingency fee arrangement, the lawyer will collect a fixed percentage of the overall winnings or settlement. The client and lawyer must agree to this percentage before commencing a lawyer-client relationship. This agreement – the Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement– must be put into writing and, in some cases, may require approval from the court.
The Preszler Injury Lawyers’ Approach to Contingency Fee Retainers
The Preszler Injury Lawyers operates with a strict motto of “We do not earn a penny unless we recover money for you – no strings attached.” We ask our clients to sign a Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement outlining our fee structure and each party’s rights and obligations. This affords all of the protections outlined under the Solicitors Act.
Our law firm does not require clients to invest money into their own files. We finance the cost of litigation to spare clients from having to pay out-of-pocket expenses.
Why Contingency Fees Are Beneficial to Personal Injury Clients
At one time, contingency fees were rare and, in some cases, prohibited in Canadian courts. The introduction of contingency fees into civil courts affords injured victims the opportunity to seek fair compensation. Some of the benefits for clients include:
- Opening up the legal system to injured victims who might not otherwise be able to afford hiring a lawyer and paying out-of-pocket expenses or upfront fees
- Providing a significant incentive for the lawyer to perform to his or her best abilities – after all, there is no payment for the lawyer unless the client receives payment
- Leveling the playing field between insurance companies and injured victims, providing an affordable option for victims to pursue fair compensation
Not all lawyers charge the same percentage in contingency lawyer fees. When interviewing lawyers, ask for a written statement outlining the rate and timeline for all expected fees.
Is it worth it to hire a lawyer?
Lawyers understand how to calculate the long-term financial implications of a serious injury. A lawyer may be able to present evidence and testimony to support a claim.
Are you considering hiring a lawyer to process your personal injury or Long-Term Disability claim? Schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation with Preszler Injury Lawyers – call 1-800-JUSTICE® or complete our confidential online form.