Four Steps to Follow When Hiring a Disability Lawyer
Many persons who have filed disability claims also have additional legal concerns with their employers. Unlawful denial of short- or long-term disability payments, wrongful termination of work, harassment, or violation of human rights are all common disability-related lawsuits against companies.
Any disability claims that a person files against their employer must be coordinated with any lawsuits or appeals filed against a government agency or insurance company. A disability lawyer can help you discover and organize all of your disability claims to optimize your chances of success and compensation.
1. Can a Lawyer Be Hired?
In some cases, a person doesn’t have the right to hire a lawyer even if they have filed a disability claim. This is because some people belong to unions and those unions use a collective agreement between the employer and the union.
In certain situations, the agreement terminates a person’s right to hire a personal lawyer, as they must use one of the union’s lawyers. If a person doesn’t belong to a union, there is no worry about a collective agreement dictating what kind of lawyer can be hired.
2. Determine How Much Legal Help Is Needed
Not all cases require full representation by a disability lawyer Toronto. A person needs to determine if they require the lawyer to handle all aspects of the case, including appeals, or if they just want legal advice on a few different issues.
People who often require full representation include those with conditions that prevent them from filling out the disability application or handling the appeal. Others who require full representation include those filing a lawsuit and those denied for coverage reasons, such as a pre-existing condition.
3. Identify All Claims
The most common disability claims include short-term disability, long-term disability, disability tax credit, Worker’s Compensation, severance pay, creditor disability, Canada Pension Plan disability, and human rights violations. For people with more than one disability claim, which is quite common, there must be a coordinated strategy to handle all of them.
This is where hiring a disability lawyer is helpful because one lawyer can handle everything, which reduces the risk of things being overlooked and also saves on costs.
4. Understand the Legal Fees
Engaging the services of a lawyer entails a significant financial investment. While many attorneys provide a “no-win, no-fee” arrangement, also referred to as a contingency fee agreement, a person must ensure that the agreement is reasonable. There are stringent regulations regarding how attorneys can bill clients, particularly concerning contingency fee arrangements.
The first thing to know about is that all lawyers must charge a fair and reasonable fee. This is important with contingency fees because lawyers can set fees at 33.3% of any money recovered. This can result in a large amount paid to the lawyer for very little work. The fair and reasonable part of contingency-based fees is detailed in the Rules of Professional Conduct.
The other important rule to remember is that a person is entitled to have some of their legal costs paid if they win their case. This is in addition to any compensation a person is awarded. At the same time, if the person loses their case, the court may order them to pay some of the insurance company’s legal costs.