After a car accident in British Columbia communications with ICBC (Insurance Corporation of BC) are necessary and required to make a claim for personal injury. Most tourists vacationing in the Province or visiting friends and family call my law firm asking to hire a really good lawyer to deal with an ICBC injury claim. Here are three solid tips to help find the right lawyer for your injury claim:
1. Accreditation for lawyers
I need to first explain that there is no special accreditation for lawyers that deal with ICBC and any member of the BC Bar in good standing can take on a personal injury case. However getting a lawyer in British Columbia before you leave is critically important. There are legal restrictions preventing lawyers from outside the Province prosecuting personal injury claims in British Columbia.
2. Lawyers working for ICBC
Secondly, if ICBC has refused to pay your benefits, it is a bad idea to hire lawyers that work for ICBC. Not because of the perceived conflict but rather these lawyers and their law firms have to sign an agreement refusing to bring an claim of bad faith against ICBC. Be aware that some lawyers work for ICBC under a “strategic alliance” agreement. Before hiring a lawyer ask whether they have signed an agreement with ICBC agreeing not to participate in claim against ICBC. Those lawyers have to act in the best interests of ICBC.
3. Experience of Lawyer in the Field
Finally, if a lawyer does not feel confident, based on lack of experience or lack of training, to take on an ICBC personal injury claim he or she can make referral to another lawyer in the community. There are a number a lawyers that restrict their practice to only personal injury claims and have years of experience in the field prosecuting cases in the Supreme Court of BC.
Injury claims have restrict deadlines for the insurance claim as well as the tort claim against the at fault driver. Talk to a lawyer for a free consultation. Hire the lawyer before you leave the Province. A meeting with the lawyer before you leave could be your only face-to-face meeting which will help provide the confidence and trust needed for a healthy client/lawyer relationship.
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.– Only working for injured not ICBC or any other insurance company for over 21 years.