Profound legal changes in 2018, effective April, 2019, empower the auto insurance monopoly ICBC to cap claims for pain and suffering. Progressive injury lawyers need to understand ICBC injury caps and complex accident benefits regulations. Early and inexpensive legal advice can now be obtained in a variety of forms for a variety of personal injury claims.
Getting lists of personal injury lawyers is easy with instant local lists created by search engines such as Google after a car accident. Sifting thru potential lawyers for the right one for your case will likely be rewarding if you follow a few basic steps:
Confirm the person is a lawyer
This can be done be by using the legal directory provided for the public online by the Law Society of BC;
Contact the Lawyer for a free consultation
Avoid using social media sites to publicly ask the lawyer questions. These public conversations can be documented by the ICBC adjuster for later use. Use private email or a phone call for first contact.
Meet the lawyer
A face to face meeting is not always possible but desirable. If time is of the essence it may be better to hire the lawyer immediately and build a rapport in the first few months.
Modern lawyers should be able to accept digital communication in multiple forms. Court registries now allow claims to be filed online and lawyers based in Vancouver can represent claimants living anywhere in the world. New privacy regulations allow formal applications to access to information.
Technology for the lawyer
Rules of evidence, expert communications, accident investigations are three of many areas changed in wake of the hardware and software developments in the provision of internet services.
The significant changes after April 1, 2019 that will limit and reduce victim compensation following a car accident injury, despite an increase in the maximum benefits. In 2018 the NDP coalition government passed laws to secure the monopoly ICBC has over auto insurance and the increased ICBC’s power to deny compensation to innocent victims. Without a lawyer many injury claims are likely to be severely limited by ICBC as described as minor.
These legal changes to car accident victim compensation do not apply to other personal injury claims involved medical malpractice, slip and fall and assault. The ICBC injury adjuster is not the judge a jury and does not have the final say. Determine whether a case is subject to legal limitations before accepting a denial or limitation and not after.
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.- Advocating for the injured since 1995.