Personal injury claims can be a long and tedious process. But personal injury claims certainly start even before the case is formally filed in court.
This is why hiring our services (or scheduling a free consultation) is essential for ensuring that you explore all the legal options available to you. The success or failure of your claim can rely on even the simplest details that start from the onset of personal injury.
The counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney is invaluable in determining the merits of your case. ICBC is aware of the difficulties presented when a client is represented by a lawyer which is why they often work out settlements to avoid a lengthy court process.
Consulting with a Personal Injury Lawyer
We offer a free consultation even before you hire us. Initial contact usually involves a simple telephone conversation and if you feel comfortable discussing this further then an appointment is set at the office or we can come out to see you.
Consultations start with a client telling us exactly what happened. After assessing the initial details of the incident, our attorney then gives her or his recommendations on how to proceed. It is important to remember that the consultation service is free and that the client in under no obligation to pay for the consultation. If we see merit in the case and you wish to hire us, we proceed with your case.
Learn more about our lawyers at InjuryLawyersLangleyBC.com.
Personal Injury Claim is investigated by the Insurer
A formal notice is submitted to ICBC of our being retained by you and that you have a claim. The insurer then determines if they are liable for the personal injury lawyer or how much compensation is due.
While waiting for the insurer’s response, your personal injury lawyer in our firm collects all related information on the case. This includes update on treatments, medications, circumstances and persons involved in the accident. Personal injury does not only take a toll on the victim’s physical health but also puts a strain on their financial health.
If possible, we help find funding for medical and treatment needs. Insurers are obliged to pay for any medical expenses incurred for personal injuries. But this is only possible when the insurer accepts your claim as being compliant with all the requirements and if all required documentation is properly presented.
In the event ICBC denies paying for some or all of your treatment, we add those costs to your claim to be recovered upon resolution. In many cases we can help fund treatment that ICBC does not cover. Ask us about this service.
This stage of the legal process involves the collection of relevant evidence with respect to your personal injury claim. Evidence collected includes:
- Pay slips, tax information, financial statements
- Medical and hospital records
- Healthcare information
- Compensation and relevant claim file history
- Expert medical reports regarding short and long term effects of injury
- Worker information from current and previous employers
- School records if necessary
- Any other documents relevant and necessary to advance your claim.
Note that our record collecting is an ongoing process as your claim moves forward.
Once we collect everything, we research the law and assess your claim based on past cases, your financial losses and your injuries, including any long term impact.
Assessment of Damages and Total Liability
Once your claim reaches the settlement stage (this can arrive quickly or take years … depending on your injuries) provide you with an accurate assessment of the highest compensation available under law. Once a figure is agreed, an opening offer of settlement is then offered to the insurer to start settlement negotiations.
In most cases, settlements will be reached through negotiating with ICBC. Out-of-court settlements are usually in everyone’s best interest because they can resolve the claim more quickly and with much less expense than proceeding to court. These settlements can often be obtained months or years quicker than if the claim proceeds to trial.
Most personal injury claims are settled outside the court. This is to avoid lengthy court proceedings and an attempt by the insurer to settle for an amount that is lesser than what is being claimed. But surely, this will be a figure that is higher than what the insurer initially offered prior to your personal injury claim. If both parties are unable to meet an agreement, we go to court.
It’s your decision
Whether you accept a settlement offer by ICBC is your decision. We are not permitted to make a decision for you. We act on your instructions.
We advise you, but it’s your decision. Settling reduces risk considerably … but sometimes going to court is absolutely necessary. We explain the pros and cons of every offer so that you can make an informed decision.
Settlement of Your Personal Injury Claim
The legal process ends once a claim is settled or judgment has been reached in court. Services include arranging the transfer of funds and settling all costs which will be deducted on your claim (legal and medical expenses).
NOTE: The above is a big picture view of the process. During this process, you may have to participate in litigation steps such as examination for discovery which is when you answer questions under oath by the lawyer hired by ICBC. You may also be required to attend a formal mediation. We take care of the rest for you.