After dealing with ICBC on your own many come to understand the value of having a lawyer. What you may not know is that most lawyers do not get paid until the end of the case. The upfront expenses of investigation, document gathering and medical assessments will be covered by most ICBC lawyers and claimed against ICBC at the time of settlement. Lack of finances should never be a barrier for decent legal representation and even the first call to a lawyer, at least at my law firm, is free.
Here are a few things you should know about finding a lawyer for your ICBC claim:
- Lawyers in BC are regulated by the Law Society so their legal fees for car accident cases cannot raise above one third of the amount recovered unless approved by the Court;
- The earlier you hire a lawyer the better chance of settling your case without a lawsuit. You typically have 2 years before having to file a lawsuit and many need most of that time to recover;
- Lawyers have a duty to be loyal and work only in a client’s best interest. That is refreshing to know when dealing with ICBC or other insurance companies that are only looking after their own interest; and
- Lawyers must keep your personal information confidential. Medical and loss of earnings information will almost always need to be disclosed to prove a claim but the lawyer will review these documents to ensure the disclosure is relevant and necessary.
Even the best lawyers advise and encourage a client to negotiate or settle a dispute whenever it is possible and to do so on a reasonable basis. Lawyers in BC must discourage the client from commencing or continuing useless legal proceedings and good lawyers will inform a client of a proposal of settlement, and explain the proposal properly.
Watch our short video to understand more about the option of having a lawyer assist in your ICBC case: