Considering a Litigation Loan? New Case raises Flags

Pursuing an Ontario personal injury lawsuit can be a daunting task for many individuals.  Most people have not previously dealt with the law, lawyers or courtrooms and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  One of the primary concerns people have about pursuing an Ontario lawsuit is the financial expenses they will incur.  People often wonder how they will be able to pay for their legal expenses and this can sometimes cause undue stress and anxiety.

Legal expenses include legal fees involved in hiring a lawyer, but they can also include other ways of preparing for trial, such as getting expert witnesses.  Some lawyers help finance your legal expenses by requesting that you obtain a litigation loan.  This is also known as third-party financing, where a financial services company gives you a loan or otherwise helps you financially.  Many recent court rulings have supported the role of third-party financing in order to adequately prepare for trial. In those cases, the court has ordered the insurer to pay the plaintiff’s interest on the loan as a disbursement.

A recent ruling, however, has  potentially damaged a client’s chances of being compensated for interest on a loan.  The judge in the case of Guiliani v. Region of Halton, ruled that the defendant (the insurance company) did not have to pay the interest on the litigation loan.  The rationale was that to require the insurance company to pay such a large sum could encourage lenders to charge high rates of interest in an attempt to “extract unconscionable amounts of interest from vulnerable individuals.”

If you are contemplating hiring a lawyer for your accident-related lawsuit, make sure you discuss fully that lawyer’s position on litigation loans and their pros and cons.

For information about Auger Hollingsworth, please call us at 613 233-4529.  We’re here to help.

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