It’s common knowledge that personal injury attorneys and lawyers can make a lot of money in their profession. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that parents often encourage their children to be a lawyer or doctor. But is it just a myth?
So what does a personal injury attorney or lawyer do to earn their salary? How do they charge clients? Is it true that personal injury lawyers only get paid when you get paid? What is tort law?
From assault to motor vehicle accidents to medical malpractice, Wynperle Law has vast knowledge and experience with personal injury cases, so we’re answering all your money-related questions below.
What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Make Per Year?
Whether you want to go into law practice or are wondering if you can afford a personal injury lawyer in Hamilton to represent you, here are a few statistics on a lawyer’s annual salary:
- In Canada, the average base pay of a personal injury (PI) lawyer is $100,979 per year, according to 513 reported salaries on Glassdoor. A senior lawyer’s average base pay is $164,585 per year.
- In Hamilton, Ontario, Indeed.ca reports that the average salary for a PI lawyer is $76,550 per year, and across the province, the average is $85,767.
- In Guelph, Ontario, it’s estimated by Indeed.ca that a PI lawyer makes $94,294 per year.
If lawyers are paid that amount, what do they do to earn such a salary?
Why Do Personal Injury Lawyers Get Paid So Much Money?
In North America, personal injury attorneys and lawyers perform many services when representing individuals and companies:
- Attorneys and lawyers investigate the case by asking the client questions, gaining a variety of evidence to build the case, including interviewing witnesses and consulting with experts.
- Lawyers explain the legal procedures and answer client questions in person, by phone, and via email. They are often available outside of office hours once you have hired them. Additionally, attorneys and lawyers advise their clients on what to say, whether they must speak with the press or take the stand.
- Attorneys and lawyers act as intermediaries between the client and other parties, including the insurance company, police, and medical staff. Lawyers ensure that their client doesn’t say the wrong thing and can recover without being harassed.
- A personal injury attorney or lawyer puts clients in contact with the best specialists to recover from physical, emotional, and mental trauma.
- Lawyers argue your case and defend your rights in court if it goes to trial.
Do PI Lawyers Get Paid if They Lose?
Most PI lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, while some may charge an hourly rate depending on the type of personal injury case you have. For a contingency fee case, the lawyer will be paid only a percentage of your financial compensation from your claim, lawsuit, or settlement if the lawyer is successful in winning the case. For more information, consult this breakdown from the Law Society of Ontario.
If the lawyer fails to win your personal injury case, you do not pay them. However, you may have to pay some legal fees, including court costs and office expenses. It is always recommended to ask all questions during the consultation to know what fees you are expected to pay whether you win the case or not.
Once the contingency fees have been discussed, both the lawyer and client should sign a Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement, which may need to be approved by the court.
Canadian Tort law allows individuals to sue another party for compensation if the latter party caused damages to the former individual. There are two sub-categories: Intentional Tort and Unintentional Tort.
Intentional Tort consists of serious and deliberate acts meant to cause harm, generally resulting in criminal charges. The personal injury lawyer in Guelph must prove the defendant acted with purpose. Should the perpetrator be unable to pay the compensation, the victim can claim from the regional or provincial victim compensation funds. Common cases deal with various kinds of assault.
Unintentional Tort consists of negligence cases and the PI lawyer must prove that the defendant failed to perform their duty of care. Common cases deal with motor vehicle accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, and product liability claims.
Both types of Tort include personal injury and damage to property.
What is the Average Payout for a Personal Injury Claim?
The average payout amount is $120,000 for a motor vehicle accident settlement in Canada. The majority of cases end with a settlement amount rather than jury-awarded compensation because the cases don’t go to trial before the hearing date. The largest settlement in Canadian history is $16.9 million and was awarded in 2009 to a car accident victim who sustained a traumatic brain injury.
At Wynperle, we always say that each personal injury case is different. This is because there are always a myriad of factors that influence the strength of the case and its result. Some examples include:
- The involvement of drugs or alcohol-related to your injury
- The severity of injuries sustained
- The decisions you made that resulted in your injury
The actions of the plaintiff are just as important to consider as those of the defendant.
Are Personal Injury Lawyers Worth it?
Personal injury law is so complex and varies according to the type of case that it requires years of study. The average person needs an expert to help them argue their personal injury case while they recover. The Wynperle Law firm is at your disposal.
We will discuss your contingency fee, analyze your case, find suitable resources for those injured, and explain the next steps if you decide to hire us.
Contact us today for a free consultation and legal advice.