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McComb Witten Marcoux

Personal Injury Lawyers - Legal Fees

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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If you're thinking about hiring a lawyer to handle your ICBC injury claim you need to do your homework. And quite frankly the place to start is by asking a few questions.

OK. Here goes.

How do lawyers who handle ICBC injury claims charge for their services ?

Do I have any type of a choice in terms of how I can pay for a lawyers fees ?

Is it true that most lawyers will handle an ICBC injury claim on a percentage of recovery ( i.e. contingency fee basis) ?

Are there any laws or rules governing how much a lawyer can charge to handle an ICBC injury claim ?

What's the going rate for a lawyer to handle an ICBC injury claim ?

What about the lawyers expenses ? Are these included in their fee ?

All of these are questions I'd be asking if I was looking at hiring a lawyer to handle my ICBC injury claim.

So, why don't we get started.

Lawyers get paid for their services in one of two ways. Either by the hour or on a percentage of recovery basis ( what's called a contingency fee agreement).

In British Columbia the vast majority of lawyers who handle ICBC injury claims ( on behalf of injured people) charge their clients a percentage of what they recover from ICBC i.e a percentage of the settlement or the trial award.

There is a maximum legal fee that a lawyer can charge a person who has been injured in a "motor vehicle accident". And that figure is 33 1/3 % of recovery. Note that this figure doesn't include taxes on the legal fee or other charges agree do between the lawyer and the client.

As with any other service, there's a market for the services of lawyers how handle ICBC injury claims. And just like any other service ( plumber, electrician, accountant - you name it) that market takes the form of a range.

At the low end of the range, you could probably find a lawyer to handle your ICBC injury claim for 20% of what you recover from ICBC. The upper end of the range is the legal maximum of 33 1/3 % that I mentioned earlier. And just like anything else in life, its my strongly held  belief that you get what you pay for.

The expenses a lawyer incurs in the handling of an ICBC injury claim is an issue that's entirely seperate from the fee they charge. The legal term for a lawyer's expenses is "disbursements".

To make a long story short, when it comes to handling ICBC injury claims, most lawyers in B.C. will attempt to recover their expenses directly from ICBC through the settlement or trial process. And if those expenses aren't entirely covered off, the client is responsible for  the difference. In my experience, more often then not, the difference between what ICBC agrees to pay for and the lawyers actual expenses usually isn't a big number.



Category: Car Accidents

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