Articles Posted in Legal Fees

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Recently, the Ontario Divisional Court released their decision in Gilbert’s LLP v. David Dixon Inc., 2017 ONSC 1345. The Honourable Justice Nordheimer, speaking for the Court had some pointed commentary with respect to the Solicitors Act and its application in 2017. The Solicitors Act goes back to 1909 England. The language contained therein is antiquated, and hard to understand; even for the most astute personal injury lawyer or Judge.

The Solicitor’s Act governs how lawyers bill and collect legal fees. This decision is important as the story of lawyers’ fees, particularly in the context of personal injury claims, has been all over the news lately.

Here’s what the Honourable Justice Nordheimer had to say about the Solicitors Act:

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The National Post recently ran an article which highlighted a study financially backed by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) called “A Study of the Costs of Legal Services in Personal Injury Litigation in Ontario“. In case you didn’t know, the IBC is the industry or lobby group which represents the interests of large insurance companies. They are the ones who donate to political parties and influence the way the laws are shaped such that they sway in favour of large, deep pocketed insurers, rather than in favour of innocent accident victims (aka the general public who pay auto insurance premiums).

Here are a few examples of how those laws have been swayed in favour of insurers: It was at the request of insurers that catastrophic benefits were slashed in 2016/2017. It was at the request of insurers that accident benefits in Ontario have been cut year after year. It was at the request of insurers that a threshold and deductible which now sits around $36,920 was introduced for pain and suffering claims in Ontario car accidents.

I have NEVER met an individual who worked outside of the personal injury or insurance industry who was in favour of these changes to Ontario car insurance. I have never met an individual who worked outside of the insurance industry who actively lobbied their local MPP to slash accident benefits. I have never met an individual who worked outside of the insurance industry who was in favour of paying higher insurance rates, yet getting less coverage in accident benefits. But that’s beside the point. Let’s get back to this interesting report/study.

The report was prepared by Allan Hutchinson, of York University’s Osgoode Hall in Toronto.

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When a client walks through our doors, they will meet with me, Brian Goldfinger; the owner and directing lawyer of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers. I’m the Goldfinger in the Goldfinger Law.

My firm employs other lawyers, paralegals and clerks who assist me. But there are no hidden partners or agents outside of my law firm who you are being passed along to for the legal work on your case. If we take on your case, we will do the work. Your file, along with your personal and confidential information stays with our law firm. It doesn’t get passed along to another lawyer or law firm who you’ve never met or heard of.

What you see is what you get. No games. No gimmicks. Our clients have responded well to this approach; which has helped our law firm grow, one satisfied client at a time. We currently boast four offices across Ontario, with the ability to serve clients across the province.

All our law firm does is Plaintiff side personal injury law. We do not practice on behalf of large insurance companies which defend people. Nor do we practice in any other areas outside of the field of Plaintiff side personal injury and insurance law. Our practice is devoted to suing on behalf of injured accident victims and disability claimants so that they can get the results, compensation and benefits which they deserve.

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Throughout the course of the year, the Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer Blog gets tonnes a questions from our loyal readership. We do our best to answer every question we can. Here are some of the best, and most commonly asked questions we have received. All of these questions have been answered by personal injury lawyer, Brian Goldfinger, directing lawyer of Goldfinger Injury Lawyers. We trust that this rapid fire Q&A session will answer some of your pressing questions when it comes to car accident, slip and fall, dog bite, motorcycle and long term disability claims/law.

Q: HOW MUCH DOES YOUR LAW FIRM CHARGE?

A: We don’t charge an upfront hourly rate. We take your case on a contingency fee basis. If our firm doesn’t recover any money for you in your case, that means that you don’t have to pay any legal fees.

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Recently, contingency fee agreements in Ontario for personal injury cases have come under attack. Seeing this sort of news is very disappointing and disheartening. A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal on this issue was highlighted in the news. Here is a link to a quick article. I cannot comment on what the former lawyer did in that case, but it’s certainly does not appear to be good for the legal profession.

A contingency fee agreement is a fancy legal term for an agreement between an client (injured accident victim) and a lawyer/law firm whereby the law firm’s legal fees are based entirely on the success of the case. If the lawyer works many many years, and invests many many hours on a case, but the lawyer isn’t able to recover any money on the case, then the lawyer gets ZERO. But, if the lawyer is successful in winning/resolving the case for fair compensation, then the lawyer gets paid their legal fees based on a percentage of the recovery in the case. If there is no money at stake in a case, then a contingency fee cannot work. Contingency fee agreements don’t only exist in personal injury cases. Other lawyers in different practice areas use them as well.Contingency fees in the context of criminal cases are rare, if not unheard of. I have never heard of a criminal lawyer take a case on the basis that s/he will only get paid if s/he wins on behalf of their client. I suppose it can happen, but what that fee will be for winning would have to be worked out at the outset of the case.

In a contingency fee relationship, the client and the lawyer form a team. I like that. The more money the lawyer recovers on behalf of the client, the more money the lawyer can recover in legal fees. And vice versa, if the lawyer recovers ZERO, then the lawyer gets ZERO. This sort of arrangement works for a variety of reasons.

I would like to illustrate one of the biggest reasons by sharing a story with you.

When I was in University, I worked for Sears Canada. I worked in the hardware and paint departments. This was an odd fit, because I’m neither a handy person nor a painter. But, I must admit that I learned a lot; both about hardware and painting. The money I earned from Sears went towards my University education. I paid for school by working at Sears. For this reason alone, I appreciated that Sears kept me gainfully employed throughout my College years so that I could make ends meet.

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This will be a fun edition of the Toronto Personal Injury Lawyer Blog. First, we would like to congratulate our founder and directing lawyer, Brian Goldfinger, on his recent naming to the Legal Elite for 2016 by London Business Magazine. The Legal Elite recognizes the brightest and best legal minds in London, ON and Southwest Ontario. This is Brian’s second consecutive year being named to the Legal Elite. We are glad to see all of Brian’s hard work representing injured accident victims and disability claimants getting some fantastic positive recognition in the community. None of this could be accomplished without the hard work from the team of hard working lawyers, law clerks, rehabilitation professionals and support staff at Goldfinger Injury Lawyers which have helped Brian fight on behalf of his clients. A big thank you to everyone behind the scenes for making this award possible.

Here is a link to the feature article on Brian Goldfinger being named to the 2016 Legal Elite by London Business Magazine.

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Happy Canada Day! It’s a time to celebrate our beautiful country, friends and family. For many, Canada Day will involve good food, good beverage, and participating in outdoor activities.

In the days following Canada Day, our law firm often gets a number of calls and inquiries regarding injuries which took place in the great outdoors during Canada Day celebrations. There is a common thread with these calls, which I would like to share with you in order to ensure that your holiday is a safe one. Because afterall, who wants their Canada Day celebration ruined on account of a serious injury or accident. This is the last thing you want over a long weekend.

So without further a due, here are Goldfinger Injury Lawyers’s top safety tips for the Canada Day holiday:

1. Drinking and Driving; Drugs and Driving and Texing and Driving is always a dumb decision. Don’t do it. But let me take this one step further in tip #2…

2. Alcohol, or Drugs and Any MOTORIZED equipment don’t mix either! Operating a chain saw, a scooter,an e-bike, a small engine boat, an ATV, a Sea-Do; you name it. If it’s motorized and you’ve been drinking or have taken a narcotic; it’s not a good mix. You would be amazed at the amount of weird fact pattern calls we get following summer long weekends involving operating some sort of motorized vehicle and drinking. Often, these vehicles aren’t insured, and are being operated where they shouldn’t be operated. Play it safe from the start so you don’t need a personal injury lawyer to figure out how an insurer is going to respond and perhaps pay out for such a claim. There is no magic pill to get your health back, and no amount of money; no matter how large will ever restore your health. People don’t often understand that concept. A million dollar, or two million dollar award, or even higher will NEVER restore an accident victim’s ability to walk.

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First and foremost, I want to send special recognition my friend David Siegel, who told me last night that he stopped following his mother, sister, father, the best man at his wedding, and his Grade 8 Karate teacher on Twitter. BUT, he continues to follow @GoldfingerLaw on Twitter. David told me that he can’t get enough of the Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog, along with the daily insight and tidbits from our law firm’s Twitter Feed. You can’t follow David on Twitter, but you can follow his dog, @RockySeigel for the latest in the life of his pooch.

On to some law talk? Sure. Why not.

My law firm gets calls from kind people all over Ontario who have been hurt or injured in an accident; or who have nowhere to turn after they’ve had their long term disability claims denied.

There are a lot of plaintiff personal injury law firms out there in Ontario. Goldfinger Injury Lawyers doesn’t control 100% of the market. Sometimes (more often than I can to admit) we get calls from upset clients of other law firms; or accident victims who have contacted other law firms, prior to calling our office.

Some of the practices I’ve heard from these clients from other law firms, whether true or not, are quite disturbing. I can relate to the anger and frustration of those who contact my office after being treated they way they’ve suggested. The tears say it all. There are no words to describe the upset feelings and disappointment these people have to share. Continue reading →

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If it sounds too good to be true; then beware! (free legal advice)

This saying applies to sales, services and deals we see in our every day lives. It even applies to legal fees in personal injury cases.

How so? Good question.

I’ve heard of injury lawyers quoting prospective clients that their “fees” will not be greater than 10% or 15% of the total value of the sum recovered.

This sound like an amazing deal, considering that nearly every accident lawyer who works on a contingency fee, or modified contingency fee basis charges in the range of 20%-30%, depending on the case.

So what would drive a lawyer to charge 10%-15%? Are they planning on working 10%-15% less than another lawyer who charges 20%-30%? Is the case so AMAZING that it warrants such a discount? Does the lawyer the client so much that s/he is willing to reduce their fees that much?

There’s gotta be a catch…..

There is! And I will tell you exactly what that catch is, and how these sort of lawyers hand it to you in a round about way.
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