Retaining a Personal Injury Lawyer

Prior to retaining a lawyer in a personal injury case, you would be wise to ask about how you will be expected to pay the lawyer. Usually, personal injury lawyers will charge on a contingency fee basis;  meaning the lawyer will charge a percentage of the amounts recovered in your case. Typical fees in BC are in the range of 25 % – 33%. Higher rates may be charged in some non-ICBC cases.

Contingency fee agreements are negotiated at the outset of the relationship between the lawyer and client. All contingency fee agreements must be in writing and signed by the client and the lawyer. A client will be able to be confident that once an agreement is signed, the charges for the legal work will never increase beyond what is set out in the fee agreement and the taxes on legal fees that is required to be remitted to the government.

Some firms charge fees of 33% in every case arising from an auto accident.  But do not assume that all lawyers do. We think that rate is not appropriate to every situation. In some cases, that rate is too high for the amount of legal work required and the complexity of the work.

In our firm, we consider the complexity of the case, the amount of legal work likely required, the severity of the injury, and the riskiness of the liability situation before we determine the fee to be charged.  Cases involving professional negligence, like medical malpractice, social worker liability or correctional officer liability may attract a higher fee.

In addition to the fees and taxes, lawyers will usually charge their own necessary expenses to the client.  If the client is successful in the claim, typically the expenses are reimbursed by the losing side in addition to the funds paid for settlement or judgement to compensate an injured person for their injuries.

Contingency fees make it possible for people who have been injured in an accident to obtain compensation for their injuries, when they could not otherwise afford to retain a lawyer.

Q&A – Ask a Brain Injury Lawyer

My son was hit by a car when riding his bike and suffered a serious brain injury. ICBC says the accident was his fault and have said they won’t provide any compensation. Can I do anything or is that decision final?

Do NOT accept what ICBC tells you without getting advice from an experienced brain injury lawyer.  We have been successful in many, many cases where ICBC or another insurer initially refused to pay compensation, even in cases where a child has suddenly darted out in front of an oncoming car while riding a bike or skateboard.  With the assistance of the expert accident reconstruction engineers we work with, we may be able to assist you to obtain compensation for your son, to ensure he has the care and rehabilitation he needs. Unlike many other firms, we do not charge any fees or expenses unless we are successful. Please do seek legal advice. Your son’s best recovery may depend on it.

Q&A – Ask a Brain Injury Lawyer

What happens if I am responsible for an accident that causes injuries to my partner or children?

Many of our clients have found themselves in the situation of being involved in an accident that might be the fault of a family member. Sadly some people have found themselves responsible (in whole or in part) for injuries suffered by someone they love, including their own child. Mistakes can happen in a spilt second. We all make them. But if someone is injured as a result of these mistakes, the most important thing is to ensure that all available care is provided.

Read more

Q&A – Ask a Brain Injury Lawyer

How long will it take to resolve my legal claim?

If you have suffered a brain or spinal cord injury as a result of an accident it will usually take an average of three to four years to resolve your case. However, there are many factors that go into resolving a case and your case could be resolved in as little as a few months or in more than five years.

Read more