Disbursements are the expenses of your personal injury case. Typically lawyers working on a contingency will pay for your disbursements. They may or may not charge you interest. The amount of interest a lawyer charges you is something you should be aware of and work into your calculation of what the true cost of your lawyer is.
The biggest disbursements are typically medical legal expenses. The person who is responsible for causing the accident is typically responsible for paying for disbursements that are found to be both “necessary” and “reasonable”.
What is necessary and reasonable was dealt with in a recent Supreme Court of British Columbia case, where a plaintiff suffered a serious injury in a roll-over style car accident:
Here several substantial disbursements were in dispute. The cost of a neuropsychologist was allowed. Even though the neuropsychologist did not ultimately find a brain injury, at the time the report was ordered there was a possibility of a brain injury. The relevant time is when the cost is incurred.
The cost for a functional capacity evaluation, which evaluate a plaintiffs ability to work, was denied, as the judge found that at the time of ordering the report, there was not a real and substantial probability of future wage losses.
This case illustrates another important benefit of hiring a lawyer, which is funding your case. Here the cost of the litigation easily topped the $20,000.00 mark. The lawyer presumably funded the injured party’s case.