Your ICBC injury claim’s worth and the steps to win successfully are best determined by a legally trained expert that has dealt with ICBC and settled hundreds of personal injury cases. An experienced personal injury lawyer, like a trained medical doctor, can identify the problems, employ solutions, make referrals, and professionally assess and quantify future events within the legal personal injury compensation framework.
Just like other professionals there is no guarantee of a successful outcome in your case because of a lawyers past results. A lawyer has to remain relevant, professionally consistent, and articulate in advocating present day causes of action in personal injury litigation. There are over 10,000 lawyers in British Columbia so here are a few tips to help identify and hire the best lawyer for your personal injury case:
1. Qualifications to Assess Your Injury
Any personal injury lawyer you choose must be a member in good standing in British Columbia to make my top list. That means they have to be active members of the Law Society of BC. Every lawyer must complete a minimum amount of training and upgrading every year. Find out from the lawyer what type of additional training and upgrading they have done in the last five years. Find an injury lawyer with work experience and legal training relevant to your injury.
A lawyer referral service is not a law firm and does not have the same duties to protect your personal information. The only one I recommend is the CBA-BC lawyer referral service, which is non-profit. The the CBA-BC lawyer referral service is virtually free providing an opportunity to have a legal consultation for up to 30 minutes for a fee of $25 plus taxes.
2. Experience Dealing with ICBC
Do not accept advice from friends or family members because they have had an ICBC claim in the past, no offence to our helpful loved ones. But, without the substantive legal training, constant updating of legal precedents, and legal work experience dealing with dozens, hundreds or thousands of injury cases non-lawyers will miss important deadlines in the ICBC and tort claims or fail to make relevant arguments, or worse. At least, before hiring, seek free legal advice from a lawyer with work experience representing victims of personal injury.
3. Track Record of Success
Find a lawyer and law firm with a track record of success in ICBC personal injury cases. This does not mean the lawyer or law firm has won every case, but rather has sustained a successful personal injury practice over a number of years. Talking with friends or family may not be enough to find a personal injury lawyer right for your case. Doing some research online, a google search, should turn up a relevant list of lawyers in your area. Check for client reviews, testimonials and third party recommendations. Avoid relying solely on a law firms paid advertising and go on line to find out more about the lawyers.
Finally, your first meeting with the personal injury lawyer should be free and is a chance for the lawyer to evaluate the merits of your case. Be truthful and be yourself, the information and advice received by a lawyer in confidence is protected by privilege to ensure you can have an open exchange with the lawyer without fear.
Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B. has been Personal Injury Lawyer in BC for over 21 years Serving only the injured not ICBC or any other insurance company.