The personal injury lawyer hired by this claimant was able to negotiate an offer to settle of $100,000 with ICBC in a car accident injury case. However, the claimant was not happy with this amount, fired the lawyer and went to court himself. The court awarded the claimant $50,000 (2015 BCSC 1504) and ordered the claimant to pay the lawyer his proper fees for work performed .
The court decision was made when ICBC brought an application for summary judgment. The application was heard after the claimant had fired his lawyer. The total award of $50,000 in damages was described by the court as “generous”.
With the benefit of hindsight, the pre-trial offer obtained by the lawyer was “at the deep end of the pool” and ought to have been accepted. The lawyer exercised his skill and expertise to elicit the offer for the benefit of the client, and provided sound advice concerning why the offer ought to have been accepted. Advice that was proved to be correct.
The lawyer testified that his work totaled over 150 hours for the claimant before his termination and included numerous meetings, phone and written communications with the client. The lawyer filed the lawsuit. The lawyer arranged for medical examinations and reports by experts, obtained social services records, Workers Compensation Board records, and various clinical records. A Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act request was also made to ICBC.
The legal retainer was in the form of a contingency fee agreement which provided for a 33 and 1/3 percent fee. Under the contingency fee agreement the lawyer performed the necessary legal research and analysis of the claim, a risk analysis, the scheduling of a judicial management conference, and the scheduling of the trial. The judge awarded the lawyer his fee set out in his retainer agreement in full, applied to the $50,000 award.
Posted by Car Accident Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.– assisting injury claimants for over 20 years.