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Lawyer fees: how your personal injury lawyer gets paid

Following an accident, personal injury lawyers help people receive the compensation they are legally entitled to. However, many people wonder how these lawyers, who often advertise that they will not charge a client if they are unable to secure money for them, stay afloat. Here is what you need to know about lawyer fee structures.

UNDERSTANDING FEE STRUCTURES Every law firm is different, but generally speaking there are three broad types of fee structures that you are likely to encounter.

  • Fixed fees. Most firms will charge a fixed amount for things like uncontested divorces or probating a will.

  • Hourly rates. Depending on the complexity of the case, firms will charge varying rates for the time and expertise of its lawyers and paralegals.

  • Contingency fees. Contingency fees are calculated as a portion of the money the law firm secures on your behalf.

By and large, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Here is how this works. UNDERSTANDING CONTINGENCY FEES A contingency fee is paid out in the even that a certain condition is met. The fee is thus contingent on a settlement being paid out.The fee itself is essentially, a part of the money the lawyer secures for you. The way this works is that the client signs an agreement that specifies the following:

  • The percentage of the amount recovered that will be paid to the lawyer, excluding any amount paid for costs and disbursements

  • The condition upon which the lawyer will be paid

  • That the client retains the right to make critical decisions about the matter

  • That the lawyer will not be paid more in fees than the client is awarded

  • An example of how the fee will be calculated

  • A list of disbursements and specifications about whether the client is responsible for repayment of disbursements

In Canada, contingency fees can vary, depending on the lawyer and the case. Remember that such fees are always negotiable. If your case is successful, the lawyer will receive the agreed upon percentage of the sum awarded. If they are unable to secure any money, they will not be paid. PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS NEAR YOU If you have suffered a serious injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Gittens & Associates’ personal injury lawyers can help. Contact us today to make an appointment or learn more about our services.

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