Need for a Personal Injury Lawyer- Luxury or Necessity?
Why hire a personal injury lawyer when ICBC has agreed to pay accident benefits? My answer to this question may surprise even my legal colleagues out there. I have been a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver since 1995 and when is comes to ICBC claims I have noticed a change in the way ICBC deals with injury claimants. ICBC’s monumental stand against paying “minimal damage” claims has gone underground and with it some of the overt reasons to retain a legal advocate right away.
Since a scathing ICBC audit report came out in August, 2012 ICBC appears to have trimmed down staff and is trying to save the cost of defending injury claims by making early, but small, offers to settle. This change combined with a rules change to offers to settle put claimants in a uniquely vulnerable situation in their personal injury claims.
Before getting a lawyer personal injury claimants may be presented with an offer to settle from ICBC. If this is the case for you, immediately read my article about responding to ICBC offers to settle.
When You Do Not Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
You do not need a personal injury lawyer if ICBC has paid all benefits required and you are satisfied with the amount being offered to settle your case. If you’re still reading this post as a personal injury claimant then you probably do not fit in that category.
As a personal injury lawyer I never get hired to just deal with ICBC as there will always be more than one injury claim including the one against the at fault driver. If ICBC is paying all the available injury benefits for which you qualify the much larger claim against the at fault driver may be denied or vigorously defending without notice to the claimant. Without a personal injury lawyer prosecuting your case timelines, evidence and claims may be lost.
It is important to retain an advocate early in the case as the best personal injury lawyer for your case will need to begin legal analysis to determine necessary documents and opinion evidence available in British Columbia.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Personal Injury Matter
As a personal injury lawyer I accept less than half of the cases that are referred to me simply because the claimants would not benefit from having a lawyer. I however talk with claimants in a free private consultation and provide them with some useful advice whether I take the case or not.
Like any other professional you need to get along with your lawyer and trust in their professional advice. The lawyer will be call upon you to give instructions to settle the case or proceed to trial after advice has been given. It is therefore crucial that you understand your lawyer and feel comfortable asking questions. To understand more about what to look for in a personal injury lawyer read my article about the Top Personal Injury Lawyers in British Columbia.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.