YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
1. ICBC has stopped paying my physiotherapist. Does this mean I now must pay out of my own pocket?
ICBC has an obligation to pay certain reasonable medical expenses after an accident for a certain period of time. ICBC will invariably ask for confirmation from your family doctor that further treatment is medically justified and appropriate, as well as an estimate from your doctor or therapist of the duration of treatment. Your ICBC adjuster can provide you with the rules of engagement.
2. I can’t afford a lawyer. What should I do?
In British Columbia, lawyers representing claimants that sustained injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident collect their fees on a contingency basis – this means that your lawyer will be paid a portion of the proceeds you receive in your settlement. The lawyers at MacLean Personal Injury Law do not charge any fees up front. You pay your lawyer if and when you obtain a settlement.
3. Can I change lawyers if I am not happy with the progress of a settlement even if I have signed a contingency fee agreement with him/her?
Absolutely. Call us immediately if you’re not happy with results of your file, the manner in which your lawyer communicates with you, or his or her commitment to your case. We will help you understand the agreement, and the proper expectations you should hold for a lawyer-client relationship.
4. I am ready to settle my personal injury claim with ICBC. Why should I consult a lawyer?
In certain circumstances it is well advised to consult with a lawyer. Your MacLean Personal Injury lawyer will assess the long-term consequences of your injuries. We have seen many cases involving neck injuries or leg fractures where subsequent physiological symptoms appeared over time. Long term pain and suffering, and possible future losses must all be taken into account before accepting “final” settlements. So before you sign that release, call us.
5. If a car accident was my fault, can I still make a claim?
Even if an accident was your fault, ICBC has an obligation under certain circumstances to pay you benefits. These are called “no fault benefits”. They include include physiotherapy and other forms of treatment, homemaker disability, vocational costs, ambulance fees and certain medication costs. They can include disability benefits up to a maximum of $300 per week if you can’t work. Contact ICBC to confirm whether you qualify for any of these no fault benefits.
6. My son was injured in an accident where I may be at fault. Can my son still get payment for treatment and compensation for his injuries?
Your son can still receive compensation for his injuries. He may make a claim against the drivers/owners of the vehicles involved (including you), and may apply for accident benefits for some forms of treatment or for disability benefits if entitled. If your son is under the age of 19, he will need a litigation guardian to represent him. He should consult MacLean Personal Injury Law to protect his interests and to ensure that no limitation period is missed for bringing the action.
7. The ICBC adjuster made me an offer to settle my claim immediately after I was injured in a car accident. Should I accept the settlement?
An experienced lawyer will tell you when it is a good time to settle. While we understand your desire to deal with the myriad of issues associated with a personal injury, and receive prompt financial compensation, we suggest that you give yourself some time to consider all the options available to you and ensure that you have a full assessment of your condition. This would include affording yourself time to visit with a doctor to obtain a comprehensive diagnosis and prognosis of your condition. MacLean Personal Injury Law will fully investigate any additional considerations before commencing settlement negotiations with a view to increasing your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for all of your losses.
8. Do we always have to go to trial?
You decide whether you want to go through a trial. MacLean Personal Injury Law will explore settlement options on your behalf. Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. Going to trial is usually a last resort. We will advise you on what you should do, but you decide.
9. How can I reach ICBC?
The ICBC website: www.icbc.com.
The General Inquiries Number for ICBC is 604 661 2800.
The ICBC dial a claims line is 604 520 8222.