Phone: 604-558-8778
Toll Free: 1-855-558-8778
 

Personal Injury

Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Kelowna, BC

ICBC and Personal Injury Lawyers

Having to deal with injuries and/or a car accident and ICBC claim is complicated and stressful. The ICBC regime is difficult and challenging. The scope of the legal issues that are involved is extensive. It very important to have a qualified and skilled lawyer who knows the system, who can protect your interests, and who understands how to best maximize your case.

Filkow Law is known for achieving exceptional results for its clients. Mr. Filkow is a leading driving lawyer in British Columbia for over 25 years, and has represented thousands of drivers in criminal, Motor Vehicle Act and car accident cases. Filkow Law has excellent skills, knowledge, relationships and abilities to best maximize all aspects of your recovery.

Fees:  All fees are charged on a contingency basis. Our clients do not pay any fees or expenses until a claim with ICBC or other insurance provider has been settled. Consultations are complimentary.

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Contact Filkow Law for a Complimentary Consultation by calling 604-558-8778

Injuries

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries carry devastating and permanent consequences. Those who have suffered a spinal cord injury require long term treatment and rehabilitation in order to recover and manage daily living. In certain cases, life-long medical assistance and financial support will be necessary.

Filkow Law deals with these cases in a very specific and strategic way. Our lawyers work hard to ensure you are properly compensated for:

  • Pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Future healthcare costs
  • Past and future income loss
Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries can have a significant and broad impact on the lives of the injured person and their families. A traumatic brain injury can compromise one’s employment, personality, interpersonal relationships, and ability to complete every day tasks. Following a traumatic brain injury, it is common to require assistance with daily activities, and often, family members take on the role of caregiver.

The personal injury lawyers of Filkow Law work very hard to ensure you are compensated. Filkow Law works side-by-side with you and give you and your family the highest level of legal guidance to see you through to a successful settlement that protects the needs of both you and your loved ones.

Injuries

Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury (“STI”) is the damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body. Soft tissue injuries to the neck, back and shoulders are some of the most common injuries arising from a car accident. These injuries can result in pain, swelling and loss of function.

Serious soft tissue injuries can occur in minor car accidents, and can have lasting consequences. These injuries can be difficult to assess and diagnose and difficult to show by medical testing and imaging. It is thus very important to consult qualified professionals who can clinically assist and help to develop a proper treatment plan.

ICBC will often challenge the veracity and the seriousness of soft tissue injuries due to their subjective nature. It is critical to retain experienced, strong legal team to assist with your soft tissue injury claim.

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Insurance

ICBC CLAIMS

i. First Steps: Reporting an ICBC Claim

If you are involved in an accident that injured someone or damaged property, you have a legal duty to report the accident. Even if you are not the owner or driver, you must promptly notify ICBC to preserve your claim.

Anything you say to ICBC can be used to limit or deny your claim. It is strongly recommended that you speak to a lawyer prior to providing a statement to ICBC.

ii. Part 7 "No-fault" Benefits

Part 7 of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act provides certain benefits to anyone injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident in BC/BC resident injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident in Canada or the USA. These “no fault benefits” are available to the insured regardless of who is held responsible for the accident. These benefits may be available either from ICBC or from another insurer, and include:

  • Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits
  • Wage Loss Benefits
  • Homemaker Benefits
  • Death Benefits

Speak to a personal injury lawyer at Filkow Law before applying for no-fault benefits to ensure your claim is protected from the beginning.

iii. Coverage Issues

ICBC can deny you coverage on the grounds of “breach of insurance.” The consequences of being held in breach are significant. ICBC can deny you coverage for vehicle repairs, accident benefits and can deny your right to be indemnified for court judgments against you.

ICBC can deny your benefits on the basis of a number of factors, including:

  • Alcohol/impaired operation of a vehicle
  • Giving a false statement
  • Theft
  • Principal operator
  • Improper use
  • Vandalism

It is imperative that you contact a lawyer to review your case. If ICBC has notified you that you may be in breach of your insurance policy, The lawyers at Filkow Law have extensive experience successfully defending ICBC breach cases.

v. Fault Determination

In every motor vehicle accident, ICBC will make a determination as to who is at fault. ICBC will collect evidence from you, the other driver, the police and witnesses to determine which driver(s) is to be held responsible.

If police attend the scene of an accident, the police report or ticket may be used to decide fault, although they are not final.

ICBC will rely on witnesses who may have not seen the entire accident, or may have a flawed recollection of the accident.

Determining who is at fault for an accident can be complicated. Sometimes ICBC will determine that you are partially at fault or “contributorily negligent. Even if you did do something to contribute to the accident, you do still have a claim if the other driver contributed to the accident as well. You might also have a claim against another entity, such as the municipality, if some element of the road conditions or design contributed to the accident.

Contact Filkow Law if you have been found at fault for an accident, or have any questions or concerns regarding fault determination.

vi. Trial Awards

While many personal injury cases settle out of court, a small percentage can proceed to trial. Generally, there are three categories of damages available to personal injury claimants.

General damages refer to the compensation an injured party receives for sustaining intangible injuries such as pain and suffering, disability, inconvenience, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of expectation of life.

Special damages are compensation an injured party receives for incurring financial costs as a result of the injury or accident. Special damages refer to past and future financial costs and can be backed up by invoices, bills of sale and expert evidence, and include compensation for past and future income loss, loss of competitive advantage in the marketplace, compensation for future medical and rehabilitation services, housekeeping services, and out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

Punitive damages are also awarded to personal injury claimants, although this is less frequent.  When an insurance company conducts itself in a manner that is unfair and dishonest, a court may award punitive damages to the insured. Punitive damages are rare and are only awarded when there has been highly reprehensible misconduct.

vii. Low Velocity Impact (LVI) Program

ICBC has attempted to limit compensation paid to claimants with a policy/program called the Low Velocity Impact (“LVI”) Program. The LVI Program takes certain factors into account, such as the extent of damage to the vehicles involved (generally less than $2000) and may deem an accident an “LVI accident”. Claimants will receive a letter from ICBC explaining that the minimal nature of the impact of the accident did not result in a compensable injury.

There are two ways that one can be removed from the LVI program:

  1. A pre-existing injury made you more susceptive or vulnerable to injury despite the low impact collision.
  2. You have an objective sign of injury from the accident, such as a broken bone.

A personal injury lawyer can help assess whether you have been improperly referred to the LVI program. The lawyers at Filkow Law are committed to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.

Important Information

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon should I speak to a lawyer?
It is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The ICBC/personal injury lawyers at Filkow Law can help guide you through the claims process at any stage of your claim.

Should I talk to ICBC before I have consulted with a lawyer?
No. All discussions with any insurance company should take place after you have been advised of your rights and consulted with a lawyer.

What if I am a pedestrian or cyclist and don’t have insurance?
You are still entitled to receive benefits from ICBC. In addition, you can start a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

What if I’m at fault for the accident?
You are still able to receive full accident benefits. If your injuries are serious, these benefits may be substantial.

How much coverage is available?
For no-fault benefits, everyone has the same policy: you are covered for certain medical expenses and income losses, up to $150,000. For third-party liability insurance, every vehicle in BC has at least $200,000 of coverage. Responsible vehicle owners often have $2 million (or more) in coverage.

In addition to the three types of policies listed above, ICBC provides coverage for hit & run accidents (up to $200,000), uninsured drivers (up to $200,000), and underinsured drivers (at least $1 million, with more if you purchased additional coverage).

Who is not covered by ICBC?
While every vehicle owner who resides in BC must purchase third-party liability insurance from ICBC, some organizations are exempt. If your accident was caused or contributed to by a federal government vehicle, a police vehicle, a municipality or an out-of-province vehicle, your claim may not be against ICBC, or you may have both an ICBC claim and a claim against another organization.

What if I have private insurance?
You are generally required to exhaust your private insurance before claiming benefits from ICBC. You also must claim government benefits such as Employment Insurance or CPP disability.

There were witnesses to my accident, what should I do?
You should obtain as much information as possible, including the name and contact information of any witnesses. Sometimes, a phone number can be incorrect, so obtaining more than one piece of contact information is helpful. It can also be beneficial to take a photo of any identifying documents.

What happens if I miss a deadline?
You should contact BC Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. Missing a deadline may limit your claim to ICBC benefits, but it is often possible to activate your benefits even if you complete one or more steps after the deadline. It is important to act quickly.

What other steps should I take when applying for ICBC Benefits?

  • Record the names and addresses of involved parties and witnesses to the accident.
  • Keep your family doctor informed of your injury.
  • Keep a diary or log of your symptoms and how they affect your daily life
  • Record any days you miss work due to your injury
  • Record the names and contact information of your healthcare professionals
  • Keep receipts for all related expenses (i.e, medical, prescriptions, transportation). Family members should also record dates and time spent caring for the injured person.
  • Check for other insurance coverage (i.e. through your work, school, or private plans).
  • Contact Filkow Law at 604-558-8778 to discuss your claim

Its very important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer to assist you with your ICBC case.