The aftermath of a car accident can be a stressful and confusing time. On top of recovering from you’re your injuries, you probably need to get your car fixed, and you need to deal with ICBC to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses. That’s where many people turn to lawyers for help. Here are some answers to questions people often ask us about hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent them in their ICBC claim:
Should I pursue a claim?
The answer to this question generally depends on the potential value of your claim and the likelihood of success. Basically if the risk of pursuing a claim is as high or higher than the potential reward, then it may not be in your best interest. Factors involved in making these determinations include: who is likely to be held at fault for the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage, and the extent of your injuries and other losses. These are areas that are explored in the initial consultation and any necessary follow-up investigations. If you have been injured in an accident and are not sure if it’s worthwhile pursuing a claim, it’s best to speak to a lawyer to discuss your options.
Do I need a lawyer?
No, you are free to pursue your ICBC claim without the help of a lawyer. The advantage is that you will not have to pay a portion of your settlement to cover legal fees. The disadvantage is that you will likely not know if any settlement offered by ICBC is a fair one, nor will you have the knowledge to ensure the various legal deadlines are met as your claim progresses. Also, you may not have the financial resources to fully prepare your case, for example, to cover the cost of retaining experts to present evidence. It is our experience that claimants generally receive more compensation when represented by a personal injury lawyer.
How much does it cost to meet with a lawyer?
Most personal injury lawyers, including ourselves, will provide an initial consultation at no charge. Also, there is no obligation to hire us following the consultation.
How much are legal fees?
Most personal injury lawyers, including ourselves, handle ICBC claims on a “contingency fee basis”, meaning that our fees are calculated as a percentage of your overall settlement, and are not due until your claim has been settled.
ICBC is saying I’m at fault. What should I do?
You do not have to accept ICBC’s fault determination. If they’ve told you that an accident was your fault and you disagree, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to discuss your case. In the event that you are sued by another driver, in most situations ICBC will appoint a lawyer to defend the claim and your involvement in the lawsuit will be minimal.
How much money will I get when I settle?
At the outset of a claim it is impossible to say with any accuracy how much a claim will eventually be worth. This is because the value of a settlement is based on several factors, including who is at fault, the type and severity of injury, length of recovery, overall prognosis, income loss, future employment prospects and future medical expenses. You should be cautious of anyone who tells you that they can provide this information to you at the outset of your claim.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
This depends on the complexity of your claim, which will increase for various reasons, like when fault is disputed, when injuries are severe or they take an extended time to resolve. Ideally, you should wait until you have fully recovered from your injuries before settling your claim, so that all of your losses are known and can be fully accounted for at settlement. However, this is not always possible where injuries take an extended length of time to resolve, or are deemed permanent. When this is the case, before settling your claim it is vital that the time is taken to fully assess the future effects that your injuries, including future employability and the future cost of medical expenses.
Will I have to go to court?
It’s unlikely. The vast majority of ICBC claims settle before reaching the courtroom. However, if you do end up a court, an experienced personal injury lawyer will make sure you are fully prepared.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or if you’d like further information regarding ICBC claims, contact us today at 604-988-6321 or firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Contact Us