When injured in a car accident and hiring a personal injury lawyer in BC most never make it a top priority to ask whether the lawyer or law firm works for ICBC. Why is this important? Personal Injury Lawyers and law firms that work for ICBC are restricted in the types 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, practicing in BC including Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby should avoid all together taking the cases for ICBC personal injury claimants.
In 1999 the ethics committee of the Law Society was asked to comment on the issue of whether lawyers retained to act as part of a legal team for ICBC must decline to act against the Corporation in bringing personal injury lawsuits that include allegations of bad faith or claims for punitive, aggravated or exemplary damages. It was the Committee’s view at that time that a lawyer who accepts the restrictions required by ICBC may act against ICBC for clients whose cases fall outside the restrictions but must advise these clients of the lawyer’s relationship with ICBC, the restrictions on the lawyer when acting for parties adverse in interest to ICBC and the implications of those restrictions.
Some 7 years later, in 2006, the Committee added that,” a lawyer who accepts the restrictions required by ICBC must decline to act against ICBC if it appears there is a reasonable basis for believing the evidence supports a claim that the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm has agreed not to prosecute. A lawyer already acting for a client when such evidence emerges must withdraw.”
Personal injury lawyers and law firms in Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, and all other ares of BC that work for ICBC must now tell potential personal injury clients of their relationship with ICBC. I have never worked for ICBC or any other insurance company and this avoids conflict of interest, perceived or real for personal injury clients.
ICBC spends millions of dollars hiring personal injury lawyers every year to defend claims. Watch my short video on ICBC Injury claims and when talking to a personal injury lawyer ask whether they work for ICBC .
Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A., LL.B.