- Do I need a personal injury lawyer?
Ultimately, the best way to determine if you need a lawyer is to speak to one. The lawyer will ask you questions about how the accident happened and about the nature of your injuries. Generally speaking, you should hire a lawyer if any of the following apply:
- You have sustained any injuries such as a broken bone, whiplash, or a concussion;
- You have missed or are likely to miss work as a result of your injuries;
- Your injuries are not resolving or treatment doesn’t seem to be helping;
- There is a dispute about who was at fault for the accident; or
- There are complicating factors (for example, you were injured in a hit and run accident or by an uninsured driver or there are any insurance coverage issues).
Your initial phone call and first visit with one of the experienced Vancouver car accident lawyers at Taylor & Blair LLP is free. While our main office is in Vancouver, we are available for appointments at our personal injury law firm offices in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, and Surrey. If necessary we can also meet you at your home or in the hospital.
- Why does the ICBC adjuster say my claim can be resolved without involving a lawyer?
The adjuster appointed to your claim works for ICBC, and ICBC’s goal is to minimize what they pay out. Keeping you from getting legal advice is the best way for them to accomplish that goal.
- How can a personal injury lawyer help me?
A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the complicated ICBC claims process, explain your legal options, protect your rights, and maximize the compensation you receive. Experienced Vancouver car accident lawyers will deal with ICBC on your behalf and negotiate settlement so you don’t have to go to court. If settlement is not in your best interests, a personal injury lawyer will present your case to a judge at trial.
- What if I can’t afford to hire a personal injury lawyer?
Vancouver personal injury law firms typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not have to pay any money up front. In most cases law firm will carry the expenses of your lawsuit until you receive your settlement or judgment, and the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the money recovered. If you don’t recover any money, there is no legal fee.
- How long after the accident do I have to bring a legal action?
In British Columbia, the right to sue for personal injury expires two years after the date of the accident that caused the injury. There are shorter deadlines for some types of legal actions, such as claims against a city or town. The safest thing to do is to consult with a Vancouver car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to discuss filing a legal claim to preserve your rights.
- How much is my personal injury claim worth?
Personal injury claims do not have set values. The value of your claim will be based on the injuries you sustained and their effects, as well any lost wages (past or future), certain payments out of pocket, and your needs for care or treatment in the future.
- Can a lawyer provide an estimate of what my claim is worth?
While there are no set values for personal injury claims, your case should be worth approximately the same amount as other cases in which the injuries and effects of the injuries were similar to yours. Experienced Vancouver ICBC lawyers can review your doctor’s records and any medical reports to evaluate your claim’s strengths and weaknesses, and then research relevant case law to provide an estimate of the compensation that is likely for your injuries. There is a lot of misinformation circulating in the general public and the best way to find out the true value of your claim in to talk to a personal injury lawyer at Taylor and Blair.
- If I had a pre-existing injury, am I still entitled to compensation?
The purpose of a personal injury claim is to compensate you for the difference between your post-accident condition and the condition you would have been in had the accident not occurred. So if you had a pre-existing injury, you are still entitled to compensation for any aggravation of that injury caused by the accident.
- ICBC offered a settlement. Should I accept it?
Before accepting any settlement, it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer at a Vancouver personal injury law firm. Taylor & Blair LLP, Personal Injury Lawyers offer a free initial phone call and free first visit. Even if you do not retain a lawyer, an initial free consultation can provide you with important legal information to help you make informed decisions about a settlement.
- If I accept ICBC’s settlement, can I re-open my claim later if my injury still bothers me?
Once you sign a release it is extremely difficult (and in most cases, impossible) to re-open your claim. For that reason it is extremely important to talk to a Vancouver car accident lawyer before accepting a settlement to ensure that it is fair and reflects the full extent of your injuries and how they are impacting your lifestyle and ability earn income.
Call Taylor & Blair LLP at (604) 737-6900 today to schedule a free initial appointment with one of our team of skilled car accident lawyers in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Port Coquitlam, Burnaby, and Surrey.