Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
Reasons to hire a lawyer to assist you with your accident claim
- Help maximize treatment and benefits you receive from ICBC relating to your injury
- Ensure that you do not miss any limitation dates
- Help you obtain expert medical reports relating to your injury
- Assist you with filing your claim at the CRT and the BC Supreme Court
- Coordinate your CRT injury claims with your other heads of damages, including past wage loss, loss of future working capacity
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. You and your lawyer will enter into a contingency fee agreement, which must be in writing and signed by you and your lawyer.
Contingency fee agreements usually provide that your lawyer receives no legal fees unless you recover money. Most contingency fee agreements provide that your personal injury lawyer will receive as his/her legal fees a percentage of the total amount of damages recovered for you.
The percentage of legal fees charged by your lawyer will vary depending on the complexity of your case, and may change based on whether your case settles far in advance of trial, or proceeds to a trial. The maximum fees that can be charged in personal injury motor vehicle cases is 33 and 1/3%.
Contingency fee agreements also set out who is responsible for paying for the disbursements incurred in a case. Disbursements are amounts spent on preparing and advancing your case, such as court filing fees, expert reports, photocopying charges, obtaining clinical records, etc. In most cases, you will have to reimburse your lawyer for the disbursements she/he incurs on your behalf, usually from the amount recovered for you.