This is a question I have been asked since I settled my personal injury law practice in Vancouver in 1995,and the answer really depends on your definition of winning an injury claim. Do you want more money? a quick settlement? Your treatment covered? Other than by fluke you may want to settle your case with the advice of a personal injury lawyer. I have heard of ICBC advice guides for purchase but they cannot replace proper legal advice for the specific facts and law applicable to your injury claim.
Here is a quick shortlist to answer the three questions of how to win a personal injury claim without a lawyer:
1. Do you want more money?
If so your best bet is to hire an injury lawyer to gather and evaluate evidence to help establish your loss. In many cases claimants take time off work or school but do not document that loss. You may suffer other losses that will not be reimbursed without proof for the court. Competent injury lawyers understand what documents and evidence is required to prove your claim. Therefore in all likelihood you will not “win” your claim without a lawyer if you want more money.
2. Do you want a quick settlement?
ICBC and the Court system both seem to work much slower than most people expect. This is because procedural delays and the necessary of obtaining an objective evaluation. If ICBC or any other insurance company offers you a quick settlement for your injury claim, be concerned. The offer may not take into account your future losses and expenses.
If fully recovered within three months of your injury, you generally do not need to hire a lawyer. Having said that, some injuries may disappear only to arise later after you have settled you injury claim. Hire a lawyer if your doctors are concerned about future flare ups or worsening of injuries.
3. Is your treatment covered?
If insured by ICBC medical and rehabilitation benefits your benefits are no fault and are covered to $150,000-$300,000.00. If ICBC refuses to pay medically recommended treatment a judge may have to decide your entitlement to coverage. In these circumstances winning your case without a lawyer is extremely remote.