My personal injury law firm has negotiated hundreds of out of court settlements with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia on behalf of car accident injury claimants, which is a first rate way of saving court time and expense.
Some personal injury cases cannot however be settled and are best taken to trial by experienced personal injury trial lawyers. I presented my first personal injury case to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1996 and my law firm as continued to prosecute personal injury cases on behalf of claimants in Supreme Court, our most recent case going to trial this month.
Figuring out whether the top priority in a case is preparing for trial or trying to settle can be a difficult decision, even for the most experienced legal counsel. I want to help claimants in this article, once they have hired a personal injury lawyer, to get the best out of their legal representation.
Most of the personal injury lawyers in British Columbia are based in Vancouver, Surrey, New Westminster, and the surrounding Lower Mainland area, given the access to legal practice support, legal resources, and the Courts. Vancouver lawyer numbers are unsurpassed by no other region having six times more lawyers than Victoria. Personal injury lawyers in Surrey have to file their Supreme Court lawsuit in either Vancouver or New Westminster because there is currently no Supreme Courthouse house in Surrey.
To get the greatest benefit from the advice of a personal injury lawyer when it comes to negotiating a settlement for an ICBC car accident case follow these simple steps:
1. Provide the lawyer with all documented out of pocket expenses paid due to the motor vehicle accident. These expenses include: Mileage Expenses; Prescriptions; User Fees; Ambulance/Hospital fees; Taxis/Travelling; Personal Property/Clothing; Extra Help/Babysitting services; and Auto Damage.
2. Inform your lawyer about all extra-curricular activities. This is important to getting compensation for your pain and suffering.
3. Keep all work related documents to eastablish time off or inability to perform duties of your job. Make sure your lawyer has the following information about your employer:
Date commencing employment:____________Date last worked pre-accident:_____________Date of Return to Work:______Hourly rate:____________Hours per week:______Weekly rate:__________Monthly rate:__________Salary:____________Benefits:_________
There are many other steps that a personal injury lawyer may want to take to ensure a claimant can obtain the best result. Listen to the advice of the lawyer and make every effort to obtain documents and information requested in a timely fashion.
Before the case is successfully settled with ICBC make sure you understand what is being settled. Often there are two claims with ICBC, one for accident benefits and the other is the negligence claim against the other driver. Usually, but not always, both these cases are settled at the same time so it is best to ask your lawyer. Remember it is ultimately the client’s decision to settle the case and not the lawyers. So once the lawyer has given you legal advice and presented you with the realistic options, the ball is in your court.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness B.A., LL.B.