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Personal Injury Lawyer Disbursements Explained

Written by Joseph A. Nagy, Edmonton Injury Lawyer

In this article, I answer the common questions clients ask about personal injury lawyer disbursements. I have been a personal injury lawyer for more than 20 years. My answers are based on the knowledge and experience I have gained from successfully resolving thousands of personal injury claims.

I include specific information about how Joseph A. Nagy Injury Law handles disbursements.

The contingency fee agreement you sign when you hire a personal injury lawyer should explain disbursements. You will have questions. I hope this article answers some of those questions. If you have additional questions, please contact me.

My law firm focuses on injuries from motor vehicle accidents.

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Page Contents

Page Contents

FAQs: Injury Lawyer Disbursements

Joseph A. Nagy Injury Law pays the upfront costs of all disbursements. That means we also pay all the upfront costs of personal injury expert reports.

  • We recover those costs from the at fault party’s insurer (with very few exceptions).
  • We don’t get paid until the insurance company pays for your claim.
  • If we do not win, we are not paid.
  • We do not charge a retainer fee.
  • We not charge interest on disbursements.

To book your free consultation, please call (780) 760-4878 (HURT) or contact Joseph A. Nagy Injury Law.

Learn more:

In injury law, a disbursement is a payment that the injury lawyer makes to a third party in order to handle your injury claim. Personal injury lawyer disbursements may include the costs of:

  • photocopies
  • postage and courier fees
  • medical documents
  • reports of medical experts, accident and other personal injury experts to prove your injury claim
  • court filing fees if needed.

The lawyer’s contract should clearly explain how and when disbursements are paid. The contract should explain if you will be responsible for any costs. If you are uncertain about any of the contract language, always ask the injury lawyer to explain. Make sure you understand all aspects of the contract. Ask if you are not sure.

Most injury lawyers pay the upfront costs of injury lawyer disbursements and recover the costs from the compensation paid by the insurance company.

Some injury lawyers, however, may require clients to pay a retainer to offset their costs. The amount charged depends on the lawyer and the likely costs of your case. If all of the retainer is spent, the lawyer may ask you to “top up” the retainer.

Your injury lawyer should explain how and when disbursements are paid and whether a retainer will be charged.

Some injury law firms charge interest on the personal injury lawyer disbursements. Always ask the injury lawyer. My law firm, Joseph A. Nagy Injury Law, does not charge interest on injury lawyer disbursements.

In general, you do not directly pay for injury lawyer disbursements. The money comes from compensation paid by the insurance company. The cost depends on the specifics of your case and what is needed to convince the insurance company to pay you the compensation you deserve. Your injury lawyer should explain disbursement fees, including:

  • what fees they charge
  • when payments are due
  • how fees are paid.


Always ask the injury lawyer to explain if you are uncertain about disbursements and how and when they are paid.

Some disbursement costs are relatively small, such as postage, medical transcripts, and police reports. Other injury lawyer costs are larger, such as hiring personal injury experts to prove your insurance claim.

Most personal injury lawyers will pay the upfront costs of hiring personal injury experts. Injury lawyers use personal injury experts to prove claims. They recover the costs from the compensation paid by the insurance company. Very few general practice lawyers will have the financial capability to cover such costs.

The costs of hiring personal injury experts are one type of disbursement. Some injury lawyers will ask for a retainer to help pay for disbursements. Before hiring an injury lawyer, always ask:

  • Who pays for personal injury experts?
  • Who pays if my personal injury claim is lost?
  • Do I have to pay a retainer to cover your costs?
  • Do I have to pay interest on disbursements?
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It's my pleasure to share with you all my experience with this Law Firm.
My life changed instantly 3 days before Christmas on December 22, 2018. By the grace of God I'm a miraculous survivor of a motor vehicle accident, but unfortunately my husband died at the scene.
I owe a lot to Joe, Nicole, and the rest of his wonderful team. They are the law firm in Edmonton should you suffer an injury.
Joe and Nicole are full of compassion. They are professional, friendly and they always have time for their clients.They truly understand injuries. They work hard to deliver results for their clients.
After my accident, I went to see Joe in a wheelchair. Joe has done a fabulous job representing me to ensure that the rest of my life is taken care of.
Thank you dearly Joe, Nicole and Danielle.
Read More
Nagy and his team are excellent, professional and very efficient. Even though we had relocated to another province, when we came to visit Nagy, Nicole, Jordan and the rest of the team at their office, they welcomed us as if we were family. My family and I highly recommend to go with Nagy and his team if you want high quality service and high quality people to tend to your legal needs.
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