Personal injury lawyer costs, a comparison of legal systems

Imagine it happens to you, a traffic accident, an accident at work, or injury damage due to a dog bite (Dutch: hondenbeet). Then you need a personal injury lawyer (Dutch: letselschade advocaat) to recover personal injury claims. But how much does a personal injury lawyer actually cost?

How much does a personal injury lawyer cost?

It is well known that a personal injury lawyer is not cheap. Hourly rates of well above € 200.00 per hour are the rule rather than the exception. For many people, calling in a personal injury lawyer after an accident is not self-evident.

In Europe, there are various ways of financing the costs of a personal injury lawyer. In Germany, for example, fixed remuneration can be obtained. It often concerns a low compensation, so the injury victim simply pays a large part of the costs himself. Other systems apply in other countries. In countries such as Belgium and France, the personal injury victim does not even receive any compensation from the government. You must pay a personal injury lawyer there yourself.

Free legal assistance in the Netherlands

Within Europe, therefore, various types of rules apply to compensation for the costs of personal injury. The best scheme for personal injury victims can be found in the Netherlands. If you are looking for a lawyer there, for example for an employment law dispute, you can claim legal assistance for a relatively low personal contribution. The condition is that your income falls below an income limit.

Are you the victim of a traffic accident, industrial accident, or dog bite in the Netherlands? Then you can claim the help of a personal injury lawyer completely free of charge. This right to free assistance from a personal injury lawyer is enshrined in Dutch law.

The only condition for free help from a personal injury lawyer in the Netherlands is that someone else is liable for the occurrence of your personal injury. Such as another driver in a rear-end collision or the employer in an industrial accident because he has not fulfilled his duty of care as an employer.

Is no cure no pay a solution?

It is nowhere else in Europe as extensive as the scheme in the Netherlands. As mentioned, the costs of a lawyer in most European countries are borne by the person seeking justice. In the most favorable case, a person seeking justice receives a small subsidy from the government, but there is often no more than that.

Various alternatives are conceivable in order not to pass on the costs of a lawyer entirely to the personal injury victim themselves. One of these alternatives is the no cure no pay system. But what is no cure, no pay, and is this allowed? Is it wise to agree to the no cure no-pay system?

No cure no pay means that a victim of an accident gives part of his compensation to his or her lawyer if the latter ensures a positive result. If a personal injury case is lost by the lawyer, the personal injury victim does not pay any compensation.

No cure, no-pay is not allowed in every country. The disadvantage is that as a victim you hand in part of the compensation as a lawyer’s fee. It is therefore always good to see what part of the compensation must be paid and whether the system of no cure no pay is allowed.