No matter how careful you are, you can be involved in an accident at the hands of someone else. For example, a traffic accident such as a car accident or bicycle accident. But you can also be injured as a result of an accident at work or a dog bite. You suffer damage due to the limitations caused by this injury. This damage is called personal injury.
You can hire a personal injury lawyer for personal injury claims. But what about the costs of a personal injury lawyer in Europe? Is there 1 system for the entire European Union? Or does each country have its own rules when it comes to reimbursement of the costs of a personal injury lawyer?
Free legal assistance personal injury lawyer in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has the best system in Europe and perhaps even in the world when it comes to reimbursement of the costs of a personal injury lawyer.
As in other countries, you also pay the costs of a lawyer in the Netherlands yourself. For example, the costs of an employment law lawyer in the event of an employment dispute or the costs of a divorce lawyer if you are getting a divorce. However, if you have an accident in the Netherlands, you are entitled to free assistance from a personal injury lawyer. For example, if you are hit by a car in Eindhoven, you can call in free legal assistance from a personal injury lawyer in Eindhoven (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Eindhoven). But how is this possible?
In the Netherlands, the free legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer is included in the Civil Code. Article 6:96 of the Dutch Civil Code states that the costs of determining damage and recovering it form part of the compensation. In other words, the liable party must pay the attorney’s fees of the personal injury victim. So after an industrial accident in The Hague you can call in a personal injury lawyer in The Hague (Dutch: letselschade advocaat Den Haag) free of charge in the Netherlands.
Costs of legal assistance in other European countries
You will not find the system as we know it in the Netherlands anywhere else in Europe and, as far as we know, anywhere in the world. But do you have to pay the personal injury lawyer yourself in all other countries and how do you deal with this? After all, a lawyer is expensive, an hourly rate of an experienced and expert personal injury lawyer is easily between € 175.00 and € 250.00 per hour.
In a number of countries, you as a personal injury victim receive some help from the government. In Germany, for example, there is a system in which a fee for legal assistance is determined by means of a table. The higher the damage, the higher the compensation you receive as a victim of an accident for lawyer’s fees. These costs must be reimbursed by the liable party or its insurance company. But there is no free legal assistance in Germany.
In Austria there is also a scheme in which you receive a small compensation as a litigant in the event of personal injury. In all other European countries, as far as is known, there is no regulation for an allowance for the costs of a lawyer. This means that the costs of a lawyer are for your own account.
No cure no pay
Engaging a personal injury lawyer is therefore an expensive affair in many countries. That is why other ways of paying a lawyer are being sought. One of these ways is the no cure no pay system. With this system, as a victim of a collision, industrial accident or dog bite, you only pay a fee to the lawyer if the result is positive. This arrangement is certainly not free of charge, because in the event of a successful claim you always have to pay part of the compensation to the lawyer.