Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer?

Hire a personal injury lawyer after concussion

Do you need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

A lawyer is not needed when making an injury compensation claim, but it is highly recommended that you have one. When you hire a lawyer it doesn’t mean you are ready to go to court it just says you want to seek legal advice from someone rational who is not emotionally involved in the claim.

Things You Should

It is not necessary to hire a lawyer when dealing with the Insurance Corporation of British Colombia (ICBC), but if you do, then you must make very informed decisions. The ICBC will appoint an experienced adjuster, who works for them, to negotiate for the settlement of your claim at a reasonable amount from ICBS’s point of view. The adjustors continuously deal with injury claim so they will be tough negotiators.

A good lawyer will do the following for you:

  • Advise you accordingly
  • Try and obtain a fair settlement for you
  • Collect evidence and proper medical information
  • Decide the extent to which you should be compensated in regards to your case

If your lawyer and the designated adjustor can’t come to a proper settlement, then it’s up to your lawyers to take the case to court so that they can obtain a full and fair compensation on your behalf. Less than 1% of the ICBC claims proceed to court.


If you are unsure on whether you should enlist for the services of a lawyer then pay a visit to one of the many experienced BC personal injury lawyers and seek legal advice and also obtain knowledge on the matter. Most of the lawyers offer initial legal consultation free of charge or obligations. After the meeting, you will be in a better position to decide whether you need to hire a lawyer.

the worldwide logo of personal injury lawyers

What Do Lawyers Cost?

The cost of a lawyer is entirely dependent on the case in which they are handling. In a personal injury insurance claim, you have the right to hire a lawyer and pay on a contingency basis. A contingency fee agreement means that the lawyer you hire will accept a predetermined fixed percentage of the recovery or the money to be paid to the client, if you recover nothing from your claim then you shouldn’t spend your lawyer anything. Regularly, contingency fees in British Colombia range from 20 to 33 percent of the total recoverable amount. Lawyers hired on contingency basis receive their payments at the time when they collect your compensation cheque from the insurance firm not before.

Most of the time when you want to enlist for the services of a lawyer you have to visit him. During the first meeting the lawyer gets to familiarize himself with a case, and then you will move on to the sensitive fee issue, make sure you understand the fee contract before signing it. In some cases the lawyer’s services can be paid using a predetermined hourly rate, when using such a mode of payment the lawyer may ask you for a retainer, a retainer is an amount of money that acts as security and will be used to meet the lawyer’s upcoming expenses, the lawyer will thereafter send you interim accounts for immediate payment. The method of payment while hiring a lawyer is entirely up to you.

While still discussing the topic of remuneration you must get to understand who will be responsible for disbursements. Disbursements are the expenses that the lawyer will incur in the prosecution of the claim example of such fees are the cost of medical records, cost of hiring experts, court registry fees, and other similar expenses. The disbursements may quickly sum up to thousands of dollars.

If you are to pay the lawyer on a contingency fee basis, then all the expenses incurred in the prosecution of the claim are covered by financed by the firm. It’s important to understand who will be responsible for this cost is they can’t be recovered from the ICBC. At times lawyers will deduct the expenses from their final fee if they can’t be collected as part of their final settlement.

Protection Of The Public

There are specific laws in place to govern the relationship between the lawyers and their clients. The rules of the law society of British Colombia states that in case a court awards a higher amount, the maximum amount a lawyer is entitled to for personal injury and wrongful death arising from the use or operation of a vehicle is 33.33%. Lawyers rarely charge this percentage except in exceptional circumstances like a highly complicated case or if several numbers of procedures need to be taken to bring the claim to an amicable solution.

Also, there is a 90 day cooling off period; the law states that within 90 days of hiring a lawyer you can appeal to the district registrar of the supreme court of British Colombia to have the agreement reviewed if the fee is found to be too high it shall be adjusted accordingly.

Personal Injury Attorney Vancouver

Tim Louis & Company
175 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1W2
(604) 732-7678

A Personal Injury Lawyer’s Tips for Mediation!

personal injury law mediationMost clients who come to my Vancouver Personal Injury law practice have heard of mediation. However, in order to take full advantage of mediation, a number of key points must be understood by you, the client, before the mediation takes place.

  1. How I select the mediator – Each personal injury case is unique – the complexity, the adjuster’s personality and how you, the client, present, are all factors that I consider before coming up with my shortlist of preferred mediators. I then post my shortlist on the Trial Lawyers Association of BC ListServ to find the best match for your case.
  2. At mediation, I present as though we were at your trial – providing the Court with my opening statement – I want the adjuster to see first hand how “trial-ready” I am. If the adjuster has come to mediation without enough authority to settle the case, I terminate the mediation. Because I presented as “trial-ready”, more often than not, when the adjuster returns to his/her office, the insurance company increases the offer. Adjusters that witness firsthand just how effective I am going to be at trial get the authority they need to settle the file.
  3. I focus my attention on the adjuster – Up untill the mediation, everything the adjuster has learned about your personal injury case has been filtered through the insurance company’s lawyer. Mediation is my golden opportunity to speak directly with the adjuster. Remember it is the adjuster who carries the check book – not the insurance company’s lawyer.
  4. How I handle weaknesses in your case – Every personal injury case has weaknesses. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be in litigation. I quickly get the weaknesses out of the way by admitting them. This shifts the discussion onto the strengths of your case. Too much time spent haggling over points that are going to be lost at the end of the day, anyway, weakens your case. Better to fight on terrain that benefits us.
  5. I don’t reveal your bottom line ever – not even to the mediator – As soon as the other side learns of your bottom line, you can guarantee that your case will settle for less than this amount. Your floor has been turned into a ceiling.
  6. Be prepared to ‘walk’ – Adjusters get great pleasure from drawing a line in the sand. If that line is below your bottom line, I terminate the mediation then and there. It is my experience that once the adjuster gets back to his/her office, a new higher offer is forthcoming.
  7. I do everything I can to get the adjuster to put their cards on the table – Sometimes the adjuster and the insurance company lawyer keep their cards too close to the chest in the presence of you, the client. Simple solution – I ask my client to ‘wait in the hall’. This can work magic. I learn more about the other side’s view of the case than I ever would have learned with you, the client, present. If your case does not settle, I am that much better prepared for trial.

So, those are the thoughts of a Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer.

Scroll to top