We see and hear about it every day. Somebody is hurt in a motor vehicle accident (MVA). They report to the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC). ICBC takes a statement and before you know it, the insurance company takes conduct of the case.
What's not right about ICBC having conduct of your claim? They are NOT on your side.
Yes, they may be your insurers ... but guess what? They also very likely insure the person responsible for your traffic accident. In fact, ICBC has an obligation to minimize your compensation as the other driver's insurer.
Result: If you give the insurance company conduct of your case by not hiring a personal injury lawyer, you give control of your compensation to the organization that has an obligation to protect the at-fault driver.
Do NOT Put ICBC in the Driver's Seat of Your Injury Claim
The easiest way to not give ICBC conduct and full control over you compensation is to find an injury attorney whose sole obligation and responsibility is ensuring that you receive full and fair compensation.
When you hire our firm, we don't act for the at-fault driver. We don't insure the at-fault driver. We work only for you.
It's important you have legal representation who makes it their primary purpose to act for you - negotiate, mediate and if necessary, litigate so that your rights are protected.
The fact is that the process is a legal process involving courts. It's not an ICBC process - they're only the insurance company - not the decision-makers of your case.
We offer injured victims in British Columbia free consultations. You are under no obligation to hire us. You can ask us questions, see if you're comfortable with our Abbotsford personal injury lawyers and make a hiring decision after you leave.
Does ICBC really not have my best interests in mind?
When we tell injured people that ICBC does not have their best interests in mind, they're surprised. After all they're your insurance company. You paid them premiums or else are covered under a policy of someone who did pay premiums.
Consider the following:
Did ICBC tell you about deadlines on your claim? We're talking about claim-ending deadlines that if not met, you lose all chance of compensation.
Did ICBC pay your treatment user fees or visit fees when you received treatment such as physiotherapy or massage therapy treatment?
How does ICBC protect the at-fault driver and you at the same time?
And then there's more ...
When you retain us, if you don't fully recover, we hire medical specialists for you to learn more about your condition and what the future holds for you and your injuries.
Sometimes ICBC does this, but after more than 30 years working for injured victims, we've seen it all too often that the insurance company's doctors minimize injuries compared to the doctors we work with on your case. Without second medical opinions (which we obtain), ICBC relies on their doctors' reports ... which if minimizes your injuries, results in low or inadequate compensation.
We don't mean to alarm you, but somebody has to tell you what's going on when you give conduct of your case to any insurance company.
There's a reason our injury department has grown rapidly over the years, including expansion into Abbotsford. That reason is that more and more people who get hurt in car accidents are turning to us to help them with their case.
Our personal injury law firm has worked for injured MVA victims in British Columbia for more than 30 years. We have five attorneys who are members of the Law Society of British Columbia whose preferred practice area are injury claims. In other words, all they do are personal injury cases ... most of which involve the Insurance Corporation of B.C.
Ways we can help you and your claim
Our ICBC lawyers with you for a free consultation. You have no obligation to retain our legal service. Ask us all the questions you like. This is a great way to get informed about the ICBC injury claim process.
If it's more convenient for you, we can conduct free consultations on the telephone, in your home or another location that works best for you. Evening and weekend consultations also available upon request.
If you hire us ...
and you don't recover fully, we engage medical specialists to investigate your injuries. These are experts you likely won't gain access to via healthcare.
and you need help with treatment related to your traffic accident injuries, we can help pay for that treatment.
we explain each step of the claim process so you're not left wondering what's going on.
we notify ICBC that they are no longer to contact you and that we have full conduct of your claim ... not ICBC.
we take full control of collecting your documents. Did you sign authorizations for ICBC so they can collect your employment file and medical documents? If so, we'll get those authorizations revoked.
We assess your claim in its entirety, including any future losses based on what the Courts award ... not on what ICBC awards.
Part of our job, especially when your injuries don't heal is to have you assessed by medical specialists. We are thorough in ensuring our clients receive a careful and thorough assessment by the best doctors. The following is a video of a medical assessment of the cervical spine (neck).
Doctors and treatment providers are important in your case. We're not doctors, but we communicate regularly with your doctors and in some cases will book you for what are called independent medical examinations with leading and top specialists. We then ask for reports as to their findings. It's with this information that we assess your total claim for compensation.
Talk to us before it's too late ... especially if you signed authorizations so that ICBC has full access to your employment file and medical files.
Assessing these Types of Claims in BC
The main reason you hire an injury attorney is to obtain the maximum amount of compensation you're entitled to after a car accident (we represent people with injuries for all types of traffic accidents including truck, bicycle, pedestrian accidents as well as wrongful death claims.
This may sound like a simple process, but it's not. In fact, doing a great job of assessing an injury case requires that an ICBC lawyer do all of the following:
Get an excellent understanding of all the facts about how the injury occured.
Talk to witnesses.
Carefully examine many documents - medical, employment files, school records and other relevant materials.
Discuss the case with all medical professionals involved in diagnosing and/or treating the injured person.
In some cases, hire and communicate well with a financial expert such as an economist and/or forensic accountant.
Extensively research the law for a clear understanding of how the Court may award compensation.
Condense all of the above information into a concise and persuasive document for settlement purposes.
Negotiate strenuously with ICBC and lawyers hired by the Insurance Corporation of BC.
If the case goes to trial, present a thorough case to the judge or jury.
Elements of damages in these types of cases
Over the years, our Courts have categorized the types of compensation an injured person may claim for. The most common categories are as follows:
Please note that not all cases involve all of the above types of compensation. This is where we can help ... we carefully and thoroughly assess your case, hiring experts whenever necessary, in order to recover as much money for you as possible.