If you have a fairly small personal injury matter you may have not been able to find a lawyer to take on the case on contingency fee. Perhaps injuries are fairly minor and/or liability is in dispute.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have a good injury claim. It may mean that it’s best pursued in Small Claims Court in BC and that you’ll have to pursue it alone.
Long-time Abbotsford personal injury lawyer, Gordon Dykstra, offers a unique Small Claims Court consultation service where you can meet with him to review your documents, evidence and/or discuss the proceedings. This way you get legal assistance when you’ve been unable to hire a personal injury lawyer to take full conduct of your injury matter.
Call Gordon to book a consultation to get legal help with your Small Claims personal injury claim today.
A Brief Primer on Personal Injury Claims in BC
There are two basic components to any tort-based personal injury case; Fault and Compensation.
Tort-based means personal injury claims for which you can sue. An example of this most car accident injuries.
An example of a non-tort-based injury claim in BC is WCB claims which is a no-fault system (and yes, Gordon offers consultation services for WCB appeals – go here to learn more about his WCB appeal consultation services).
This refers to who is at fault, or who was the negligent party. Any time an injured person is not completely at fault, he or she can recover some amount of compensation.
Determining fault is not an issue in cases where the defendant admits that he or she is at fault. For example, if you are struck from behind in an auto collision usually, the fault is placed on the one who ran into you.
In cases where fault is not an issue or a ‘quantum’ case, the only thing to hash out is how much compensation the victim is to be granted.
2. Compensation Amount
Not all quantum cases are simple. The defendant may contest the amount of compensation that you claim to be owed. Assessing this can be a very complicated and exhausting process. This is especially true when the injuries are of a long-term nature, or when they are permanent injuries.
It is the responsibility of your personal injury lawyer to deal with any medical evidence, witnesses, expert testimony, as well as the victim of the negligence in order to accurately assess the quantity of compensation the client should be granted.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
You may not require an attorney to claim compensation, or if you wish to seek no-fault benefits. In most situations, however, it is highly recommended that you do retain a lawyer- or, at least, consult an injury attorney.
The more serious your injuries are, the greater the likelihood that their impact on your life will make recovering the compensation you deserve a real necessity. If you cannot work, for example, or have large medical bills- you need to receive the compensation that is owed to you.
While the law does not require you to hire an attorney, the ICBC can make seeking your compensation very difficult.
Dealing with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Most people begin their ICBC claims independently except in cases where they are badly hurt. What most often happens is that the ICBC will make the lowest offer available to them, or they may begin by refusing to pay for treatment altogether. This gives the injured claimant no recourse other than to retain a lawyer. Some injured vehicle accident victims, however, will hire a lawyer without hesitation. For those who can afford to do so, this is the safest route.
Most professionals recommend hiring an attorney as early in the process as possible. Fortunately, most, if not all, personal injury lawyers work on the basis of contingency. This means that the legal fees they receive will be a percentage of any compensation that is eventually recovered.
Another important reason to hire an attorney is they will take care of all of the paperwork in addition to dealing with the ICBC on your behalf. Processing any ICBC injury claim takes a great deal of work and time. The formalities can be confusing and stressful. An injury lawyer will know what to do, and can expedite the process.
Let the professionals Deal with the Insurance Companies
Specializing in vehicle accident claims, auto injury lawyers will help you to handle the complicated insurance and legal issues that will arise when handling the large and powerful insurance companies like the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, who are more interested in their shareholders than making you whole.
Even if you’ve been unable to find a lawyer to take on your case, you don’t have to go it alone. Gordon offers legal help on a consultation basis so that you can meet with him to get personalized legal help without having to pay a large legal bill.
Unfortunately workplace injuries are very common. So common that compensation for workplace injuries are dealt with in a non-tort system which is the WCB compensation scheme.
Instead of suing anyone for injury compensation, injured victims file an injury claim with the Workers Compensation Board. The Board then issues a written decision as to whether compensation is awarded and if so, how much.
The WCB scheme includes 2 levels of appeal. First you can appeal within the WCB. The second and usually final level of appeal is to the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT).
It can be very difficult finding a WCB lawyer, especially if you don’t have much money to pay the legal fees.
This is where Gordon can help. He offers a low-cost WCB appeal consultation service where you can get legal advice about your appeal without the need to fully retain him to handle the entire appeal.