BC Sport Bikes Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A question for anyone who has been through or knows about insurance settlements and lawyers.
It is finally three years down the road and I have recieved a settlement from the insurance company through the attorney. The civil case resulted in me getting half the value of my bike and costs which the lawyer kept all of ( costs and bike value for services rendered, I got sweet FA) The insurance case has finally resolved which concluded I was 100% not at fault for ditching my ZX11 thanks to council truck who pulled off to side of the road with no indication or warning from passing lane to slow lane shoulder. This case resulting in a payment of $30,000 plus contribution to costs all and further medical costs covered. The lawyer is now offering me $20,000 to shut up and walk away or if I want detailed analysis of all his fees, medical fees, accident investigator fees etc. as well as fees for calculating these costs, I would have to pay upfront before I could get the $30,000. At no time has he disclosed to me what the cost of anything is except to say the fees owing is quite "substantial". My thing is in both cases the result is a payment towards my lawyers fees but the dude will not let me know how much it is. The last thing I want to do is question him in case I piss him off and all of a sudden I end up with FA. Do I shut up and walk away or pay the $10,000 to know what costs are?
 
R

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
why do you care what his costs are? I'm not sure if I understand the situation completely...so you guys won (congrats btw) and he says you either have a choice of 20,000/30,000 that you can walk away with..or you can get all 30,000 if you pay him 10,000 now? and then you can see his fees? and if his fees come out to 7000, he'll give you back 3000?
is that the case? or am i completely wrong?
 

·
Gear Driven Cams
Joined
·
4,411 Posts
Sounds like something shady is going on there. Would you pick up your car from a mechanic, and accept that you can pay him $1000 for the repair now, and walk away, or he'll put together your bill in detail, and then we'll see what you owe?

This should not be tolerated from a legal professional. His fees are going to be covered by the settlement in any case, $30K plus costs you said. What the lawyer is trying to do is pocket your extra $10K as a bonus, and banking on you not being able to float the "costs" payment until he finishes writing up your bill. Report him to the law society, bar association, whatever the governing body is here in BC.

Or tell him you'll take $25K and won't report him to his governing body.

[edit] Michael makes a good point about the contingency agreement, which I had forgotten. Still, he should be willing to itemize a bill for you. When he says "take $20K and shut up about it" it sounds like he's taking $10K for himself, knowing it'll be a bit high but hoping you'll do just what he says... Shut up about it. Find your original agreement regarding contingency, and see what he's entitled to take anyway. If it's close to $10K, it's probably not worth quibbling over. If it's close to $5K, it might be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,496 Posts
Something I'm familiar with.
If the litigation has been resolved (trial? or negotiated?) the deal is usually worked like this:
Lawyer,"my client will settle for $30,000 plus my costs and disbursements."
(costs are his hourly rate, and yes, there is a sort of "menu," for costs in litigation, which can be negotiated between the lawyer and the insurance company. Disbursements are the lawyers "out of pocket," expenses, such as reports from Medical practitioners, engineers, witness expenses and the like)

You signed a contingency agreement with the lawyer, which says he gets xy% if he settles before the Writ is issued, then it's xx% if it's settled after the Examination for Discovery, and yx% if it's settled at Mediation or Trial.

The contingency agreement still stands.

Insurer: "we'll write you a cheque for $35,000, "in trust."
Lawyer gets a cheque for $30,000 plus his costs and disbursements (hourly rate and out of pocket expenses) *and* he gets his 'percentage,' contingency/commisision from the $30,000 he negotiated for you.

Let's say his "C&D," equals $5,000.
The insurance company writes a cheque to him, "in trust," for $35,000.
He keeps the $5,000, and he gets the percentage from the $30,000. Sounds like it's $10,000.

In my scenario, which I've actually seen occur, the lawyer gets paid $15,000, and the client (you) gets $20,000.
Of course, it could be worse, my favourite is a case called Strachan v Cancade Crosby (I can use their real names, because it's a litigated case).
The law firm negotiated a settlement in the amount of $110,000, and then submitted a bill for $139,776.91.

Ain't litigation grand?
 

·
X-nasty
Joined
·
2,287 Posts
lawyers usually get 33.33% plus costs as a standard, that is the cold hard truth (told to me by the paralegal that made me dinner tonight)
 

·
its closer now
Joined
·
1,858 Posts
im getting a good deal then.... 20% plus costs, i think it goes to 25% + after the writ, and 30% + if we go to court
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
25-30% is the normal rate. what ever the settlement is ICBC will write you a check minus the legal fees. things add up, I think the normal rate for a photocopy is $1, secretaries time typing letters or whatever is $50/h,lawyers charge $200/h, medical reports are $500 each.
if you get a detailed bill I'm sure they will make sure it shows more than the $10,000.
 
W

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Good replys guys

Thanks Bora20, your reply is what I needed to know and makes sense, as hard as it is to believe but thats the way it is. As a byline he sends me an email today that there is an outstanding amount for previous physiotherapy sessions that I will need to pay. Makes me wanna scream.
 
D

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
if your lawyer only got you half the value of your bike, i'd say he is seriously lacking in skillz.

get another lawyer to sue him.

why don't sharks eat lawyers? professional courtesy.
 

·
X-nasty
Joined
·
2,287 Posts
waynemanbc said:
Thanks Bora20, your reply is what I needed to know and makes sense, as hard as it is to believe but thats the way it is. As a byline he sends me an email today that there is an outstanding amount for previous physiotherapy sessions that I will need to pay. Makes me wanna scream.
Not a problem. It does suck, but when you figure into that they have to pay their staff, equipment costs, travel costs, building rental or mortgages, it really adds up too.

BTW, most cheap lawyers charge $200/hour. My next door neighbor bills over $400/hour and he is one of the partners in the firm. He does wear shorts to the office everyday though, so he is cool.
 

·
banned user
Joined
·
6,255 Posts
I dont know alot about this subject, but what I do know is that every professional that bills you for services rendered needs to provide a justifiable record of the services rendered to you at NO cost once the job is complete. Do you get charged for your reciepts at the grocery store? I would say some threats to his professional reputation are in order.
 

·
just having fun
Joined
·
4,007 Posts
adam112 said:
I dont know alot about this subject, but what I do know is that every professional that bills you for services rendered needs to provide a justifiable record of the services rendered to you at NO cost once the job is complete.
furthermore, if the settlement was paid to the lawyer, in trust, for him to be able to withdraw the funds from trust a/c to pay for his fees he must first preapre a bill, then deliver the bill to client.

however, bill does not have to be delivered to client if client instructs the lawyer otherwise in writing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
An itemized bill is always drawn up by any competent legal firm. If he's unwilling to show you an itemized list then I say there's something fishy going on. There should be no charge for it either. If anything it should take a secretary less than an hour to put it together and print out the list.

I won a case many years ago and we paid all the costs and didn't negotiate any percentage split, and we wound up keeping about 74% of the settlement as opposed to the 60% they offered initially. Thankfully my case went smooth and all we had to do was an examination for discovery and then they presented their offer. This was almost 20 years ago though.
 

·
Born to be WILD
Joined
·
2,495 Posts
Rooster said:
An itemized bill is always drawn up by any competent legal firm. If he's unwilling to show you an itemized list then I say there's something fishy going on. There should be no charge for it either. If anything it should take a secretary less than an hour to put it together and print out the list.

I won a case many years ago and we paid all the costs and didn't negotiate any percentage split, and we wound up keeping about 74% of the settlement as opposed to the 60% they offered initially. Thankfully my case went smooth and all we had to do was an examination for discovery and then they presented their offer. This was almost 20 years ago though.



That was then , this is now...inflation= REALITY:surrender
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,496 Posts
A "unit," is billed at $80 an hour, which is significantly less than legal counsel can, and does charge.
The settlement amount, (what was it, $30,000?) *plus* costs and disbursements is likely tempered by what the lawyer really wants to charge per hourly rate.
Either way, I'm kind of thinking that a copy of the initial representation agreement should give you an idea of who much he *can* charge you.
Lawyers work, and live, by the law.
If they're extracting $$ from you, they will have some justification.
Justification that can't be challenged mind you. You merely have to decide if it's worth your time and effort....
All lawyers are not scum.
 

·
Unregistered User
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
Refer to Part 8 of the Legal Profession Act. There is a mechanism in which you can have both:

1. your agreement with your lawyer, and
2. the fees and disbursements he now claims

reviewed by a Registrar of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Look at the Act now to determine your rights and what steps you have to take. There are time limits involved and you must be exceptionally careful not to let them lapse or you may lose your right to challenge the agreement and the bill altogether. So do it now.

It also pays to visit your local Supreme Court registry to find out how to initiate and carry out the process. Many a litigator have died on the sword of procedural ineptitude or just plain mistakes, and therefore this step is as important as anything else you do in this matter.

If your lawyer started a Supreme Court action for you, then you must start the process at that registry. Court staff are generally quite helpful especially to unrepresented lay litigants if you choose to do this own you own.

Finally, before you go rushing off to court try to gain an audience with your counsel first (bearing in mind the time limits you are under according to the Legal Profession Act). It´s always better to work things out than just going blasting into court at the first sign of disagreement. There may be a perfectly acceptabe explanation to the lawyer´s actions, I have no idea. The Legal Profession Act is a tool in your war chest only if you can´t work things out.

Good luck. I hope the matter resolves for you.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top