There may be many reasons why you need to get a personal injury lawyer after a car accident and the lack of legal understanding is the number one destroyer of good cases. In this personal injury case the claimant did not have a lawyer and her case was a failure(Kapelus v. Hu, 2013 BCCA 86)  due to the woefully inadequate presentation by the claimant of the evidence of her injury in support of her case. Why hire a lawyer for an ICBC personal injury claim can be answered by a review of this case. Here are some some of the errors made in presenting this personal injury case:

  • The claimant provided very little assistance to help understand the nature of her injuries.  
  • The claimant did not even go so far as to confirm that her statements to the doctor about her complaints were accurate.   
  • The cases provided by the injury claimant were not relevant.
  • The claimant provided no evidence that the ICBC deductible with not waived.
  • Hearsay was relied on but is not rendered admissible under the business records exception.

 The claimant was awarded $15,000.oo for pain and suffering and the the judge commented that her affidavit contained virtually no descriptions of her injuries, the pain and suffering they caused her, their duration, or the effect of them on her life or day-to-day activities beyond a passing reference to stopping outdoor work, and some limitations on lifting and carrying objects so that she needed some assistance with housekeeping duties. A personal injury lawyer hired to present this case may well have achieved a much more suitable award for this innocent claimant.
Whether a person needs a lawyer for an ICBC car accident injury claim or perhaps can manage without having to retain a lawyer depends on a few factors including: the legal or factual complexity of the case; need for discovery of documents and examinations for discovery; need for a judgment enforceable outside of British Columbia; a bona fide preference for a jury trial; and access to the summary trial procedure available in Supreme Court. Watch my short video about how to make a car accident claim without a lawyer. However, do yourself favour and talk to a lawyer before ICBC about your personal injury claim.
Posted by personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holnes, B.A. LL.B.

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