As a personal injury lawyer suing ICBC for injury claimants in British Columbia since 1995 I welcome calls from anyone anyone seeking help for injuries caused by the fault of others. It is a myth that an injury lawyer can tell you what your case is worth by simply talking to you on the phone. That would be the equivalent of a doctor guiding you through surgery on the phone.
Although it is not possible for a lawyer to tell you what your case is worth in an initial free phone call as the lawyer will not have the relevant documentation or witness information to even begin to evaluate your case, it is often important to meet with a lawyer before settling your case.
The reality is that some personal injury lawyers will give you important information to help you decide whether you actually need a lawyer. If you decide not to hire a lawyer any choices you make in your claim are your responsibility. It is very difficult for lawyers to fix a problem a client has created before the lawyer is hired.
Unfortunately the legal aid system in British Columbia is not designed to assist injury victims fight ICBC in civil lawsuits and to collect money for personal injury. Most injury claimants have to either hire a lawyer or prosecute the cases on their own. I have discussed how to hire a personal injury lawyer here are 3 myths and3 realities when looking for free legal advice for your injury claim:
- Myth- A lawyer can tell you what your case is worth without reviewing documents.
- Reality- An injury lawyer must review the documents and determine what will become evidence before giving an opinion.
- Myth- You can obtain free advice that will ensure you do not miss important deadlines.
- Reality- No competent lawyer can determine what your deadlines are in your case until they have been hired to represent you and have access to all relevant information.
- Myth- You can get more money in you injury claim by getting free legal advice.
- Reality- Usually you get what you pay for. Using generic “how to” ICBC guides and other types of general information is not a replacement for true legal advice for your claim. You also have to ask yourself whether you are prepared the study and take the time to learn all the legal principles that apply to your case,prepare and negotiate your case.
Most people have not had to hire a personal injury lawyer before and do not know that most lawyers will agree to a free consultation. Furthermore, of you have a viable case the injury lawyer may agree to be paid a percentage of what is recovered, so the lawyer only gets paid at the end of case if the lawyer actually gets you a money award. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness