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Some Personal Injury Law Firms Working for ICBC also Represent Injury Claimants


August 30, 2010-  Did you know that ICBC requires their lawyers to enter into a written agreement which prevents the lawyer from  taking car accident cases against ICBC that allege bad faith or seek a money award to punish bad behaviour? Even the top or what some call the best personal injury lawyers in British Columbia cannot take on your case against ICBC if you are claiming bad faith.  Well what is bad faith anyway?
Bad faith is essentially when an insurance company, like ICBC, for no good reason,  refuses to pay you benefits for which you are entitled.  Here are some examples of when ICBC could be acting in bad faith: failing to pay money owing pursuant to  the Insurance (Vehicle) Act;  failing to respond to written requests  with  any reasonable explanation for the refusal to pay; failing to settle a third party claim; vetoing treatment proposed by the injury claimant without reason; failing to be objective;and  failing to thoroughly investigate the injury claim.
If bad faith against ICBC  is found, the injury claimant can claim aggravated and punitive damages. As a matter of basic principle, punitive damages is a money award intended to punish a defendant, like ICBC,  for egregious conduct where the combined effect of the other money awards is insufficiently punitive. Cory J. in Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto (1995), 126 D.L.R. (4th) 129 (S.C.C.) expressed the basic law as follows, at 185-6:

“Punitive damages may be awarded in situations where the defendant’s misconduct is so malicious, oppressive and high-handed that it offends the court’s sense of decency. Punitive damages bear no relation to what the plaintiff should receive by way of compensation. Their aim is not to compensate the plaintiff, but rather to punish the defendant. It is the means by which the jury or judge expresses its outrage at the egregious conduct of the defendant. They are in the nature of a fine which is meant to act as a deterrent to the defendant and to others from acting in this manner.”

 With respect to aggravated damages as stated in Vorvis v. Insurance Corporoation of British Columbia(1989), 58 D.L.R. (4th) 193 (S.C.C.) aggravated damages constitute an augmentation of money for pain and suffering and, as such, are compensatory in nature. Such a money award to an ICBC injury claimant is measured by intangible elements such as pain, grief, wounded pride, damaged self-confidence or self-esteem, or loss of faith in others. As has been oft noted, it is not the damages that are aggravated but the injury as a result of the defendant’s high-handed conduct.
If you think you may have a case against ICBC for bad faith make sure you ask any lawyer you interview whether they or their law firm works for ICBC on other cases and whether they have signed a written agreement which prevents them  from  taking cases  against ICBC that allege bad faith. I can assure you that none of the lawyers at Holness Law Group work for ICBC. Posted by Mr.Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should  lawyers that work for ICBC have to tell you that before they agree to take your ICBC  personal injury claim?

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6 responses to Some Personal Injury Law Firms Working for ICBC also Represent Injury Claimants

  • Best for Personal Injury Lawyers with ICBC Injury Claims to Avoid Representing the Corporation « Holness Law Group Blog

    June 15, 2013 3:30pm

    [...] of lawsuits they can file against ICBC for a personal injury client. I have written before on the restrictions on personal injury lawyers that work for ICBC and would like to focus on the issue of whether these lawyers on the top of ICBC’s list, [...]

  • Lawyer in Vancouver for ICBC Claim « Holness Law Group Blog

    May 10, 2013 6:08am

    [...] Find out whether the lawyer or law firm works for ICBC on other claims; [...]

  • ICBC Injury Lawyer- Defining the Best Advocate for your Case « Holness Law Group Blog

    December 12, 2012 8:37am

    [...] It is important to point out that lawyers that work for ICBC defending the drivers being sued are commonly referred to as “defence lawyers”. These lawyers primarily defend claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents and are hired in the prosecution of fraudulent claims. Many of these lawyers have had to sign strategic alliance agreements (SAA) with ICBC which permit ICBC to impose penalties, such as termination, where the lawyer fails to act in the best interest of ICBC. SAA’s prevents the lawyer from filing a claim against ICBC for bad faith, or claims for punitive, aggravated or exemplary damages. These are not the lawyers you can hire if you want to sue ICBC for failing to pay accident injury benefits. I have discussed this in more in my brief article on ICBC bad faith claims. [...]

  • Top Car Accident Lawyers are Independent of Government and Legal Fees are Regulated « Holness Law Group Blog

    September 7, 2012 11:07am

    [...] 1.  Find a personal injury lawyer that does not represent ICBC if you have a bad faith claim against ICBC; [...]

  • Legal Help After a Car Accident in Vancouver and Anywhere in British Columbia « Holness Law Group Blog

    August 1, 2012 12:16am

    [...] it is not required I think it is best to retain a lawyer with experience representing ICBC claimants and let him/her deal directly with the ICBC claims representatives and lawyers. The Insurance [...]

  • charlotte injury lawyer

    December 15, 2010 7:04am

    Thats an interesting post. It was worth visiting your blog. Hope to visit again.

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