Hiring a lawyer in a personal injury claim is generally done by way of a contingency fee agreement. This means that the law firm agrees to represent you and your claim on a percentage of the amount received by way of settlement or an award at trial. The amount of contingency fees generally ranges from 30% to 33.3% of the amount received. The benefit to the client is they do not have to come up with money to pay legal fees at a time when they may not be able to afford that expense. It also shifts the risk of payment to the lawyer in that if the lawyer is unsuccessful in presenting your claim, they will not receive payment for their efforts. On the other hand if the lawyer is successful in obtaining a higher settlement or award for damages the lawyer will be compensated based on the percentage of the amount received.
Conducting personal injury litigation can be very complicated. Because we are dealing with people who have sustained injuries the paramount concern is to ensure that you receive timely and appropriate medical care.
It is difficult in most personal injury claims for an injured person to represent themselves. Unless they have legal training they are faced with a situation where they are dealing with an ICBC adjuster who manages personal injury claims for a living. While ICBC’s mandated approach is to provide fair settlements, keep in mind that ICBC is still an insurance company and their interests are quite different from yours. In order to survive, an insurance company needs to collect more premiums than they pay out in claims. As such there is a strong motivation to pay the least amount possible in order to resolve any particular claim. Most people who are injured in a car accident do not have any experience with valuing claims and therefore are not well equipped to assess whether or not the amount being offered by ICBC is in fact fair and reasonable in the circumstances.
Often times it is necessary to retain experts of all types to properly assess and value a claim. These might include, accident reconstruction experts, medical specialists, vocational consultants, occupational therapists or labour economists. Retaining, managing and paying for experts are difficult and expensive. Morelli Chertkow LLP will usually agree to pay the costs of retaining the experts, organizing the necessary witnesses and looking after all of the details of organizing and presenting your claim.
In particular, your lawyer is responsible for:
With your help, investigating the facts and gathering together the documents on which your claim is based;
Receiving compensation as a result of a personal injury claim can only be obtained once. Once the claim is settled or has gone to trial, there is no opportunity to seek additional compensation at a later date. It is extremely important that your claim be managed, prepared and presented in a comprehensive and thorough manner.
If you have been injured in an accident take the time to call a personal injury lawyer at Morelli Chertkow for a free consultation.