The IMPACT - Fair Play for Canadians
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THE IMPACT PETITION
Bill #103 – Personal Injury & Accident Victims Protection Act
THE IMPACT ... of an accident or injury can affect more than just the physical ability of a victim to carry-on a functional household, but their ability to contribute as a community member, or participate in the emotional stability of child-rearing.
THE IMPACT … of having your vulnerability taken advantage of can affect more than just the person injured or accident victims ability to trust, but it could undermine a trusted cornerstone in society, a persons ability to return to meaningful work, or cause a person to become a financial burden on our social services system. This all can happen when those hired to care for your best interest, chooses to use your circumstance to satisfy their financial gain above your welfare.
This petition is to bring to light a known secret in our society and in the practice of Access to Justice contingency fee law known as 'double-dipping'. Double Dipping is a pervasive practice* and when it is undertaken the outcomes can be devastating to the victim and those who love them.
A personal injury or accident victim retains legal representation that communicates a payment upon settlement of an amount expressed through percentage [%]. The representative then takes upwards of 50%, representing in some cases double or triple the percentage [%] amount of the client's settlement in inclusive of catch-all fees above the originally anticipated agreement. This is orchestrated through the client’s lack of knowledge, confused vulnerability, unclear process or power/undue influence. Many clients are unaware this has even taken place, as there are little to no mechanisms to keep the uneducated client adequately informed. This unethical practice, can leave victims with less than the means for their recovery, equipment or to maintain financial stability – housing or retirement.
Under Bill #103 – Personal Injury & Accident Victims Protection Act, recommends the following to Protect Ontarians:
1. Contingency fee agreements to be written in plain language with 10 day cooling-off period
2. Advertising by personal injury law firms and personal injury lawyers must
be pre-approved by the Law Society of Upper Canada
3. The practice of “bait and switch” and the selling-off of client files to other law
firms or lawyers for a referral fee would be prohibited.
4. Personal injury lawyers would be prohibited from “double dipping”
5. A capping of contingency fees at 15%.
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