By Matt Lalande in Legal Questions on January 30, 2021
If you have suffered a devastating catastrophic injury, or you have been denied disability, our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers understand that the last thing you need to be worrying about is paying a lawyer, even if it is to recover compensation which you deserve. You will likely be facing many post-accident expenses and suffering from terribly increasing debt as you seek treatment and recover without the ability to get back to work. For this reason, many individuals are often hesitant to hire a lawyer and seek proper compensation for the damages they have suffered, especially if they have never hired or worked with a lawyer before.
A no-win, no-fee agreement is otherwise known throughout North America as a contingency fee agreement, which in other words, means that payment of your legal fees is contingent on a “win”. Contingency fees for plaintiff lawyers are the most common form of payment in personal injury, disability, medical malpractice and employment law cases. In short, your lawyer receives a proportion, often ranging from 20% up to 1/3 of the award or recovery if the case is won, and nothing if the case is lost. Despite their widespread use, contingency fees are often subjected to strict regulations. In Ontario, contingency fees are regulated by the Law Society of Ontario. The Solicitors Act sets out the terms and conditions under which a CFA may be used. The only practices of law where a contingency agreement is not permitted under the Solicitors Act are family law and criminal law.
The Ontario Government has recently proclaimed amendments to our Solicitor’s Act and adapted a new regulation (O-Reg 563/20) which provides fr substantial changes to our current contingency fee agreements, starting in July of 2021. A standard contingency agreements will now be shorter than what we are currently using, the language is simpler, the fee calculation is more straightforward and overall, the new contingency agreements are much more understanding and less convoluted for clients.
When you meet with us for the first time in a consultation, we will go over the details of your case and determine the best course of action. Sometimes, in cases where liability is not clear, or if the case is considered too risky, we may not accept the case, even on a contingency basis.
However, if we agree to work together, you have the option of paying hourly or proceeding by contingency fee agreement. Most clients, understandably, proceed by contingency agreement. The CFA is the contract you will sign that outlines the duties of both the counsel and the client. It will include items such as the percentage that will be paid out from your winnings and the terms of termination if either side decides to end the contract, among other things.
After the CFA is signed, our firm will begin working on your case and will never ask you for money upfront. You will not have to pay any legal fees until your case has ended successfully, whether it be through a settlement or through trial verdict. You do not have to pay disbursements in advance as well, only at the end of your case.
Firstly, injured victims, disability claimants or employees are able to access justice – particularly the lawyer of his/her choosing. Secondly, a contingency agreement allows you to obtain legal services without paying out of pocket expenses up front. Additionally, contingency fees allow injured victims to seek compensation and fair representation without the limitations of financial debt. This is a major advantage, as the costs can add up very quickly and immediately in a personal injury case, whereas the settlement might take a long time to resolve.
Your win is incentive for your lawyer’s win, too. When a lawyer operates on a contingency agreement, they do not get paid if you do not win. Therefore, this is an incentive for your lawyer to fight tirelessly for you.
How Much does a Personal Injury Lawyer cost?
Under the terms of a contingency fee agreement, your lawyer will charge you a percentage of your overall settlement winnings. This percentage varies on the specific details of your case, and will be agreed to before you sign any contracts. Normally the percentage varies between 25% and 33.3% of your winning. A contribution to your legal fees are often paid by the defendant’s insurance company if you are successful.
Again, this will all be outlined in your CFA contract. Our lawyers will go over the details with you in order to provide you with full transparency before you sign your retainer. With Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, there will never be any surprise. You will know at the start of your case what you will be paying in fees at the end of your case.
If you’ve suffered from a serious accident, you have been wrongfully denied disability, been the victim of someone else’s negligence, or are otherwise owed compensation, you do not have to worry about the up-front financial burden of hiring a lawyer. Matt Lalande and his team operate on a CFA basis and have been representing seriously injured victims throughout Ontario since 2003. We will work tirelessly to get you the settlement you deserve in a reasonable and fair manner. We are currently offering both in person and virtual consultations, all of which are free and non-obligatory. Book your free consultation through our online contact form or by phone at 1-844-LALANDE (525-2633) or 905-333-8888 locally to get started on your case.
*The above information was approved by Matt Lalande or another lawyer at Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers. The information comes from legal experience, trial experience, extensive medical research and discussion with medical professionals, medical journal review and updates and/or consultations with fellow friends and colleagues in the legal and medical field.