Frequently Asked QuestionsHow long will this take?
There is no certain time. In most cases, you should wait until your injuries heal. Then your lawyer can order a final medical report from your doctor and negotiate with the insurance company. The answer to the question in most cases is "as long as it takes for you to get better plus a few months."
Some injuries do not heal and the victim is left with a permanent problem. In soft tissue injury cases, this may take more than 2 years to become clear so you have to wait at least that long. ICBC and other insurance companies usually do not accept that injuries won't heal and want further proof like second and third opinions. It takes time to gather this evidence so these kinds of controversial cases often take 2 or more years.
Cases where the injury victim is seeking more than $100,000 seldom settle in less than 2 years.
How much will this cost?
Your initial phone call and first visit is free. In fact there are no fees charged until your case is settled or you receive a judgement. This is because we charge a fee that is a percentage of what you get. If you consult with us but don't hire us, there is no fee. If we don't recover any money for you, there is no legal fee.
If you do get a settlement or judgement your fee will be a fixed percentage of what you get.
For our fee structure, please give us a call.
What is my case worth?
It is impossible to tell without reading medical reports and knowing the full extent of your injury. If you hire a lawyer, you will be paying for his or her expertise in reading the medical reports and being able to evaluate the claim. It is impossible to give a sound professional opinion without doing the proper research. This cannot be done in a phone call or initial interview.
How do you figure out what my case is worth?
The value of your case is based on precedent. Although 95% of cases do not go to court, the 5% that do still represent a large number. Lawyers and adjusters read those cases to see how courts are evaluating injuries. Your case should be worth the same amount as other cases in which the injuries and effects of the injuries were similar to yours.
I met with my ICBC adjuster and signed a bunch of documents. Did I have to? What are they used for?
The documents ICBC gets you to sign give them permission to get your full medical and employment history. In many cases, this is not necessary and is overly intrusive into your life.
ICBC also likes to get you to sign a statement about the accident and your life. Often things written in the statement are used against you later. For example, if you forgot about an old injury, you may be accused of hiding something. If you tell of an old injury, you may be told your current injury is "just an aggravation". A lengthy signed statement is not required and a lawyer will not provide ICBC with one.
If you hire a lawyer after signing authorizations for ICBC, they can be revoked.
As your case goes on, you may have to reveal things from your medical history. A lawyer will make sure you only have to reveal what is necessary.
What does an ICBC adjuster do?
An ICBC adjuster works for ICBC. One of ICBC's goals is to pay out as little money in claims as possible. This means that in every case, including yours, the adjuster is looking for ways to save ICBC money.
The adjuster's job, in a nutshell, is to win your confidence, gather information from you and pay you as little as possible, all the while telling you that he or she is "your" adjuster and wants to be fair.
What if I'm injured and the accident is my fault?
You are entitled to "no fault" benefits, sometimes called "Part 7" benefits because they are defined in Part 7 of ICBC's regulations.
No fault benefits pay you limited income replacement (3/4 of your normal weekly earnings up to a maximum of $300.00 a week) and rehabilitation costs such as physiotherapy and medication up to a limit of $150,000.
One thing no fault benefits do not pay is user fees for physiotherapy or chiropractors. There is no payment for pain and suffering if the accident is your fault.
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