Personal Injury Claims (including ICBC)

I handle personal injury claims such as a slip-and-fall or a trip-and-fall, as well as ICBC claims from motor vehicle collisions.


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Personal Injury Claims

Operators of commercial establishments like retail stores, hotels, and restaurants, and even private landowners, owe a duty to visitors to maintain their lands and premises (including parking lots) in a reasonably safe condition. For example, a grocery store must keep the floor of the store reasonably dry and clean, and a gas station must keep the area around the gas pumps reasonably clear of ice and snow. If they fail to fulfil these duties and you are hurt as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Often, there is an insurance company working behind the scenes to defend against your claim. It is helpful for you to have legal assistance when dealing with the insurance company.

Evaluating Your Personal Injury Claim

The earlier you speak to a lawyer about your case, the better your chances may be of bringing it to a successful conclusion. I provide a free initial consultation to people who have personal injury claims. During this meeting I will:

  • Go over the details of the incident;
  • Discuss your injuries and your current medical treatment;
  • Explain your rights and responsibilities during the claim process; and
  • Help you make an informed decision on whether you should pursue a claim.

Find out what to do next by calling me at 250-564-5544 (1-877-964-5544). I can help you receive the compensation you need for your pain and suffering, lost wages, and the costs of medical treatment.

When I act on a contingency fee agreement (percentage agreement), you do not pay anything until your case is over. During the case I carry the costs to have you examined by expert medical witnesses, the costs of obtaining medical reports and records, and the other necessary costs which arise in personal injury claims. You will not have to borrow money to pay your legal expenses as your case proceeds.




ICBC Claims

I handle ICBC claims for Motor Vehicle Collisions. Here are a few steps you should take after a collision:

  • At the scene:
    • if you are injured, deal with your injuries first. If you need to go to the hospital, don't hesitate to do so.
    • if it’s safe to do so, record the names and contact information for the other driver(s), the licence plates for all the vehicles involved, and the names and contact information for witnesses.
    • if it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the scene and the resting positions of the vehicles.
  • As soon as reasonably possible, make complete and detailed notes about how the collision happened. Draw a diagram to show the layout of the roadway, the paths of the vehicles as the collision unfolded, the point of impact between the vehicles, and where the vehicles came to rest. These notes will help you to refresh your memory later.
  • Keep all of your receipts (originals or copies) for all your medications (prescription and non-prescription), therapy user fees, and other expenses related to the collision, no matter how small the amount, even if you are reimbursed later.
  • Keep track of the dates of your medical appointments, and record the distance you drive to and from each appointment. If you have to take a taxi, keep the taxi receipt. If someone gives you a ride, record the friend’s name and the distance driven, then get the friend to initial the note.

The ICBC rules have changed


Collisions occurring before April 1, 2019 -- The Traditional Tort Rules Still Apply

For collisions which occurred within British Columbia before April 1, 2019, the traditional tort rules apply.

Under this tort system, the first question is whether you were partly or entirely liable for the collision. If it turns out that you were entirely at fault, your tort claim would be dismissed. If you were not at all at fault, your tort claim could be allowed and you could be awarded full compensation for your tort damages. If you were partly at fault, then your compensation for your tort damages would be reduced by the proportion of your fault for the collision. For example, if you were 25% at fault for the collision, you could be awarded only 75% of your compensation for your tort damages.

The compensation you are awarded for tort damages is based on your actual losses as determined by a judge, not on an arbitrary amount which your ICBC adjuster deems that you should be entitled to receive.


Collisions occurring from April 1, 2019, to April 30, 2021 -- The “Minor Injury” Rules

For collisions which occurred within British Columbia on or after April 1, 2019, to April 30, 2021, the provincial government created a new category for injuries which it deems are “minor injuries.” This new scheme gets rather technical. In summary:

  • if you suffer what turns out to have been a “minor injury” in a collision, the compensation that ICBC must pay you for your pain and suffering for that injury is limited to a modest amount (the “capped amount”), and there is an overall limit to the amount of compensation you may claim for all your related losses (including past and future wage loss, future medical costs, and so on).
  • if all of your injuries are not “minor injuries,” then the usual tort rules apply and you may advance your claim in the traditional manner.
  • if you suffer a combination of “minor injuries” and not “minor injuries,” the usual “tort” rules apply and you may advance your claim in the traditional manner, but the judge must limit your compensation for your “minor injuries” to the “capped amount,” and the judge may award compensation for the not-minor-injuries in (almost) the way it is done in the traditional tort manner.

Collisions occurring on and after May 1, 2021 -- The “No Fault” Scheme

For collisions which occurred within British Columbia on or after May 1, 2021, the claim is subject to the provincial government’s “no fault” scheme (euphemistically called “Enhanced Care”). In substance, this “no fault” scheme is similar to WCB claims for injured workers. Your compensation for your various damages and other losses is determined by an ICBC adjuster. In practical terms you have little or no recourse to challenge that decision if you disagree with it. Specifically, you cannot go to court to have a judge decide what you are entitled to receive as fair and reasonable compensation for your damages and losses.

Note re ICBC’s “Minor Injuries” and “No Fault” Schemes

There are court challenges under way with respect to ICBC’s “minor injury” scheme, and it is expected that court challenges will be made to ICBC’s “no fault” scheme. If any of these court challenges is successful and you have an affected claim, the outcome of that court challenge may (and probably will) affect your rights and responsibilities as a claimant. As a result, before settling or concluding your ICBC claim in these circumstances, you should consult a lawyer.


Rehabilitation and Wage Loss Benefits (“Part 7 Benefits”)

Regardless of when your collision occurred, in most situations a person injured in a motor vehicle collision which occurred in British Columbia is entitled to Part 7 benefits.

Part 7 benefits are intended to provide an injured person with basic accident benefits, such as reimbursement for certain medication expenses, some therapy costs, and mileage to and from your medical appointments. Part 7 benefits also include temporary wage loss benefits.

ICBC cannot refuse to pay Part 7 benefits based on fault for the collision, nor can it reduce the amount of Part 7 benefits you are entitled to receive based on fault.

The issues involved in deciding whether an injured person is entitled to Part 7 benefits, and, if so, what benefits he ought to receive, can be very complicated. If ICBC has denied your claims for Part 7 benefits, you should promptly consult a lawyer.


Time Limits

There are deadlines for you to start your lawsuit arising from an injury claim if you are not able to conclude your claims in the meantime. These deadlines are sometimes referred to as "limitation periods." If the deadline to start a lawsuit is missed by even as little as one day, the claimant may be prevented from seeking compensation for injuries and other losses simply because that deadline was missed. You should consult a lawyer promptly for advice about these time deadlines.




Free Initial Consultation

I offer a free initial consultation in ICBC cases. During this meeting I will review the circumstances of your claim and provide you with summary advice about your rights and responsibilities, at no charge to you.

 

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Important NoteThe foregoing is general legal information only, based on the law of British Columbia. Readers should consult a lawyer to obtain specific legal advice about their particular situation.

Your Prince George and northern BC Lawyer and Mediator.

Contact Andrew Kemp