What if I Can't Afford a Lawyer After a Car Accident? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Thursday, 25 April 2019

What if I Can't Afford a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

#AskSimonDiamond

Car accident victims who suffer serious injuries and are unable to work are entitled to compensation from the party whose negligent conduct caused the accident to occur. Medical treatment, rehabilitation and physical therapy, diagnostic testing and other expenses you incur add to the stress of being unable to earn a living while recovering from an accident. A personal injury lawyer can help you to recover the compensation you deserve, but few people injured in an accident have the financial ability to pay the fees a competent lawyer charges for his or her services. There is, however, a solution that allows victims to obtain the advice and representation they need to be made whole again.

Serious injuries suffered in car accidents

If you are involved in a car accident with the only harm being damage to your vehicle, you do not have the right to sue the party who was at fault in causing it. Ontario law prevents you from suing the other driver even if that person was negligent and clearly responsible for causing the crash and the damage to your vehicle. Instead, you must file a claim with your own insurance company for repair or replacement of your vehicle.

Serious personal injuries are a totally different matter. If you suffered injuries that are serious enough to keep you out of work for a long period of time or prevent you from engaging in your normal day-to-day activities, you could be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation against the party who was at fault. If necessary to achieve the best possible result for you, your lawyer might recommend filing a lawsuit in which a judge would decide the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

You have the ability to retain a lawyer

Retaining the services of a lawyer when your income has been curtailed by injuries suffered in a car accident that was not your fault is something most accident victims worry about. Fortunately, many personal injury lawyers work under what is referred to as a contingency fee arrangement.

Except for criminal defense or family law cases where they are not permitted, contingency fee arrangements allow the lawyer to receive a percentage of the amount recovered. The benefit of a contingency fee arrangement to an accident victim is it allows the individual to hire a lawyer at a time when the funds to pay the fees would not be available.

The percentage of the recovery that goes to the lawyer is agreed upon in a written retainer agreement signed by both the lawyer and the client before the legal services are furnished.  The Ontario Solicitors Act grants the courts oversight over the appropriateness of the fees charged by lawyers under a contingency fee agreement. Factors the courts look at include:

  • Complexity and nature of the claim
  • Risk and expense undertaken by the lawyer
  • Amount of recovery
  • Whether the recovery includes costs
  • Amount of costs awarded
  • Likelihood of success in pursuing the claim

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.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully pursuing claims for compensation on behalf of individuals injured due to the negligence of other parties. If you have been injured in an accident you could have a claim for compensation. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.

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