Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer for My ICBC Claim?
As a car accident victim in British Columbia, you will face an important choice: Should you hire a lawyer or deal directly with ICBC on your own?
In order to make this decision, Klein Lawyers believes it is important for you to understand the many benefits that a lawyer can provide to you.
We also think it would help you to contact our firm and meet with a lawyer in person to discuss your case. We can provide a frank assessment of your claim and give our advice on whether it would be in your best interest to work with a lawyer.
We have been helping auto accident victims in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia for more than two decades. Our consultations are always free and confidential.
An ICBC adjuster may be a friendly, ethical and highly professional person. However, the adjuster’s role is to serve ICBC – not you. The adjuster has no duty to explain your rights to you. The adjuster’s ultimate goal is to pay the lowest amount possible to resolve your claim.
Your lawyer, on the other hand, will be focused entirely on serving you and your best interests.
Your lawyer will take the time to make sure you fully understand your rights and options so that you can make informed decisions about your claim.
Your lawyer also will do whatever it takes to seek the maximum amount of compensation for you and your family. You can count on your lawyer to carefully investigate your case, consult with experts, negotiate aggressively with ICBC and, if necessary, fight for you in the courtroom.
A lawyer will timely and properly file your paperwork.
Like most car accident victims in Vancouver, you may have no idea of what forms and other paperwork you must file with ICBC or the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Unfortunately, if you file any of those documents improperly or after a deadline hits, you could lose your right to receive just compensation for your car accident injuries and other damages.
For instance, if you are filing a claim for Part 7, or “no-fault” benefits, you must do so within 30 days after your accident. Generally speaking, you must file a tort claim in Supreme Court within two years after the crash.
A skilled and experienced lawyer will make sure that all documents in your case are professionally prepared and, most importantly, that they are filed in a timely manner.
A lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case.
You need to have your car accident thoroughly investigated – especially if fault is contested or your crash involved a hit-and-run driver. Your lawyer will know how to conduct this investigation.
A lawyer who has an extensive background with handling ICBC claims will know what evidence to gather and how to obtain it such as:
Crash scene and vehicle photos
Police accident report
Electronic data recorder (EDR, or “black box”) data
Surveillance camera footage
Cell phone records
The other driver’s background, which could indicate a pattern of careless driving.
A firm such as Klein Lawyers will have the resources it takes to conduct the most comprehensive investigation as possible.
A lawyer will consult with experts.
Two issues that could be contested in your case would be the other driver’s fault and the extent of your physical, emotional and financial harm. Your lawyer can turn to knowledgeable, highly qualified experts to shed light on both of these issues.
An accident reconstruction expert, for instance, is a trained professional who can examine the evidence and determine how your auto accident happened and who was responsible for it.
Medical and life care-planning experts can analyze your injuries and determine the care you will need as you move ahead in life. An economist can forecast the impact of your injuries on your ability to earn a living.
All of this expert input can play a critical role in pursuing the compensation you truly deserve after an auto accident.
A lawyer will seek a full and fair settlement of your ICBC claim.
Your lawyer can closely review your ICBC policy, the at-fault driver’s available coverage, the evidence in your case and experts’ reports. Based on this information, your lawyer can present ICBC with a demand for a settlement that fully and fairly compensates you.
To maximize your settlement demand, your lawyer will look at all benefits available to you, which may include Part 7, homemaker and other benefits.
After making this demand, your lawyer can use his or her skills as a negotiator to arrive at a settlement offer from ICBC. These negotiations may require the use of a neutral third party called a “mediator.”
Throughout the process, your lawyer should keep you informed and get your consent on how to proceed. Ultimately, the decision of whether to accept a settlement will belong to you.
If necessary, a lawyer will take your case to court.
Most ICBC claims can be resolved through a settlement. Our lawyers find that clients prefer a settlement. It can provide the funds you deserve and allow you to move on with your life.
However, in some cases, ICBC will refuse to agree to a reasonable settlement. For instance, ICBC may challenge who is at fault or disagree on the amount of damages you deserve. If this occurs in your case, you will need a lawyer to aggressively pursue your claim in court.
It will be important to work with a lawyer who has courtroom experience. The lawyer should know how to challenge the other side’s claims and present a compelling and persuasive case.
A lawyer will make sure you get paid as soon as possible.
After a settlement or verdict is reached, you will need to collect the funds owed to you, settle outstanding claims on your recovery and make sure you get paid in a timely manner.
At Klein Lawyers, we can represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will pay no costs or legal fees unless we obtain a financial recovery for you. If and when we secure a recovery for you, we will be paid from an agreed-upon percentage of your recovery.
Get Help Today with ICBC Settlements
As you can see, many benefits come from working with a lawyer as you pursue your ICBC claim. To learn more and discuss your case, contact Klein Lawyers today for a free consultation. We can get to work on your case today.