Typically, the owner of a car, truck, van or SUV has been smart enough to purchase the appropriate insurance. Consequently, at the time of an accident, the insurance company can be called upon to provide the expected compensation. The fact that such monetary compensation can be anticipated allows a car accident lawyer to charge on a contingency basis.
What does it mean to charge on a contingency basis?
The lawyer cannot guarantee that an insurance company will honor a given claim from a policy holder. By the same token, an injury lawyer cannot be sure that the victim of an accident will win, after filing a case against the responsible driver. The insurance has the right to question the severity of the injury and the claims that the other driver bears total responsibility for damages to the victim’s vehicle, along with medical damages.
It is not always clear who should be deemed at-fault at the time of a collision. For example, it could be that two drivers move their vehicles at the same time in a parking lot, or along a curb where other cars are parked. If two vehicles collide, one driver might be the first to step from his vehicle and accuse the other driver of causing the accident.
Still, the other driver may never pay a cent, even to an injury lawyer. By the same token the driver making the accusation may never recover any money. He may find that the adjuster for the insurance company of the allegedly responsible party has spotted evidence that the driver that has pointed the accusing finger actually moved his car in a manner that all but guaranteed the occurrence of a collision.
Hence that same driver would not be getting any cash settlement, and would not be paying any money to any injury lawyer, if he had chosen to hire one. On the other hand, the driver that had been pointed to, as the one at-fault could not get any money, unless he decided to press charges. He would probably not do that until he had arranged for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Vaughan. That lawyer would tell him whether or not he had a good case. If he did have a good case, the consulted injury lawyer could file charges. If the case went to court, and the team (injury lawyer and plaintiff) won, then the winning lawyer would receive a portion of the cash settlement. In other words, that same lawyer would have charged on a contingency basis.
What about fees?
In a court case, there may be the need to hire expert witnesses. A large law firm deducts that added cost from the gross settlement, leaving the amount of the net settlement. Court fees get paid from that net settlement.