November 28, 2016- I know from being a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver BC since 1995 that timing can be critical to the outcome of a personal injury claim. There are time restrictions in British Columbia for making an injury claim with ICBC so whether you have hired a lawyer or not a written report of the accident and its consequences must be provided within the time provided for in the legislation.
An accident benefit application must also be completed within a set time so again this needs to be done regardless of whether you have a lawyer. It has been my experience that most injury claimants are best served by hiring the lawyer as early after the injury as possible. Hiring a lawyer within the first 30 days of your accident usually allows the lawyer to make all the appropriate notices without you having to talk to ICBC. However you should be speaking to ICBC if it is close to 30 days following the accident and you do not have a lawyer. I have posted previous on how to make an accurate ICBC claim and the following are 3 tips to help you decide whether to talk to a lawyer before talking to ICBC. Absolutely talk to a lawyer if:
1. English is not your first language
If English is not your first language or you have difficulty communicating that is a great reason to communicate with a personal injury lawyer first. Important facts can get lost in translation or are misinterpreted.
2. The other driver is blaming you for the Car Accident
If you are being blamed for the collision then it is better to speak to a lawyer first in order to understand the legal issues. Saying something the wrong way could result in the court finding you at fault for the accident.
3. You have a complicated Medical History
Speak to a lawyer first so he or she can help explain the implications of the pre-existing medical conditions on your personal injury claim. Insurance companies like ICBC with try to use your past medical history against you when sometimes your lawyer can actually use the records to help your case.
Bottom line is to call early and get in early with a personal injury lawyer. If the personal injury lawyer is agreeing to take your case on a percentage agreement then you will not be paying the lawyer any more in legal fees to hire them right away.
Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.- Serving all of BC