ICBC claimants always ask me whether they need a lawyer for their injury case. This personal injury claimant did not have the assistance of a personal injury lawyer at his trial which involved two car accidents. He was found to be totally at fault for one accident and awarded $60,000 for the other. The claimant did not quantify his damage claim under any heads of damage either in his opening statement or closing submissions.
At two trial management conferences he was urged to seek a personal injury lawyer either to represent him or to give him advice about the various procedural steps necessary to present his case. At the commencement of trial the judge asked him whether he was seeking an adjournment to get a lawyer and he advised that he was not and just wanted to get the trial over with (click here to review actual case Uppal v. Chung,2017 BCSC 80).
The claimant did not file any expert reports or call any expert medical evidence to support a causal connection between his injuries and either of the two motor vehicle accidents. As stated by the judge, “absent an expert report from a medical practitioner, clinical records may only be considered for limited purposes.”( check out Seaman v. Crook, 2003 BCSC 464 at paras. 14 – 15)
The first car accident occurred on the Alex Fraser Bridge. The claimant was travelling from his workplace in Richmond to his home in Surrey. He led no evidence to support an award of special damages, cost of future care or future loss of income.
The second car crash was found to be his fault as there was no evidence lead that the other driver was speeding.
At trial, after hearing the claimant opening statement and evidence, and on learning that he was not calling any medical evidence, ICBC’s lawyer advised that she would not be calling any experts. The problems of proof were exacerbated in this case as the claimant called no expert medical evidence to support his subjective evidence.
Finally, the claimant led no evidence and made no arguments to substantiate his claim of negligence on the part of Sovereign Vehicle Leasing Ltd. or Seven Horses Transport Ltd., so his claims against them were dismissed.
Do I need a lawyer for my ICBC injury claim? Let the case speak for itself.