I Can’t Afford a Lawyer After a Car Accident: What Are My Options?August 29, 2020
I Can’t Afford a Lawyer After a Car Accident
The stress of coping with injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident is challenging enough; however that stress can be compounded by fears about the uncertainty surrounding litigation, and the expense of retaining a qualified lawyer to assist you in recovering the compensation that you deserve. You may be saying I can’t afford a lawyer after a car accident.
A person recovering from a car accident may well be unable to work. They will likely require medical attention and diagnostic testing; rehabilitative therapies; and, pharmaceutical or over the counter medications, all at a time that they can ill afford the expense. A personal injury lawyer can help you gain access to the therapies and compensation that you deserve, but many are left wondering how they could possibly afford to retain any pay a qualified lawyer?
The solution is what is commonly known as a contingency fee arrangement. These contingency fee arrangements are permitted in the area of personal injury but are not permitted in criminal cases or family law cases. Recognizing that a motor vehicle accident will likely lead to financial hardship, the Ontario Solicitors Act allows an accident victim to hire a lawyer to handle their claims, on the understanding that the lawyer will receive a percentage of the amount recovered when the matter reaches resolution.
What is the Ontario Solicitors Act?
The Ontario Solicitors Act is constantly being updated and revised to set out the required elements of a contingency fee agreement, so as to ensure that the injured person is adequately protected and that there is complete transparency. A qualified personal injury lawyer will ensure that their Retainer Agreement (the document setting out the relationship between you and your lawyer, including the payment of fees) complies with the requirements of the Ontario Solicitors Act.
Even though the Retainer Agreement sets out a specific et percentage of the recovery that the lawyer may receive, this is not the final determination of the matter, in cases where an injured party may be dissatisfied with the services rendered or fees charged. The Ontario Solicitors Act grants the courts oversight over the appropriateness of the fees charged by lawyers under a contingency fee agreement. The courts may examine such factors as the complexity of the matter; the risk undertaken by the lawyer; and, the amount of recovery to the injured person. The courts want to ensure that a contingency fee agreement is fair and reasonable under all of the circumstances.
Ultimately, a court reviewing the terms of a particular contingency fee agreement is looking for it to be fair and reasonable under all of the circumstances under which it was entered into by the client.
By hiring a lawyer, you gain confidence that you have someone working on your side to get the compensation you desperately need and deserve. You need to contact an experienced lawyer immediately.
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