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Critical Injury Group

FAQ

Types of Injuries

What is the difference between an Accident Benefit Adjuster, a Third Party Bodily Injury Adjuster, and a Property Adjuster?

The property adjuster handles the replacement value or repair value of the damaged vehicle. You can certainly deal with this adjuster on your own if you’re comfortable with it. It deals only with property that’s yours and getting the repairs to your vehicle, or rental/replacement vehicle taken care of. This Property Adjuster doesn’t handle the injury party of the claim.

The Accident Benefit adjuster will likely work for the same company as the Property Adjuster. The Accident Benefit adjuster is likely from your own insurance company. They are responsible for handling the accident benefit portion of the claim (med/rehab benefits, attendant care benefits, income replacement benefits etc.). Do NOT speak with the accident benefit adjuster without a lawyer.

The Third Party Bodily Injury Adjuster works for the insurance company of the at fault party. This is the Defendant in your future claim. Their job is to limit their insurer’s exposure and potential liability. Do NOT speak with this person at all.

What if I do not have any insurance? Do I still have a case?

Yes, so long as the party at fault has insurance. His or her insurance company will pay for the damage to your vehicle and for your pain and suffering. Your medical bills will be paid at the conclusion of your case from the settlement proceeds.

What do I do if ICBC has already told me that I am at fault?

ICBC’s decision about who is at fault for an accident is an internal decision and is not binding on a Court. If you have been unfairly held at fault for an accident, we may be able to assist you. We have acted for many clients who were told that they were at fault for accidents and we were able to overturn the decisions. If the accident was your fault, you are still entitled to accident benefits. We can assist with accessing accident benefits under your insurance policy.

Do I speak to ICBC?

You are required to report your claim as soon as possible to ICBC’s Dial-a-Claim (604-520-8222 in the Lower Mainland or 1-800-910-4222 elsewhere in BC, Canada, and the US). When things have settled down, contact your OWN insurance company to report that your loved one has been involved in a serious car accident. Tell them that your loved one is in hospital injured, and that you would like to make a claim for Accident Benefits. Ask that they send you an Accident Benefits package right away, and that they assign an Accident Benefit adjuster to your claim. Beyond that initial request to open an accident benefit file, that’s really all the speaking you should do with your insurer for the injury portion of the claim. You should provide only information about the parties involved and basic details about how the accident happened. The information you provide should be accurate, concise, and factual.

Do not discuss liability or who is at fault for the accident. Most of the time, ICBC will ask you to attend at a local claim centre to meet an adjuster and sign a statement and authorizations. You are not required to sign these documents and it is not a good idea to meet the adjuster without speaking to a lawyer first. There are documents which need to be completed for ICBC and we can assist you with this process.

Do you provide financial support while I wait for a settlement?

In some cases we will provide financial assistance in the form of a loan. This ensures that clients who cannot afford appropriate medical care or rehabilitation can receive treatment before settlement or trial.

It is not unusual for us to invest $300,000 in a critical injury case; in one case we invested over $500,000

What if I am unable to go back to work?

You are entitled to income replacement benefits through the accident benefit provider. They will pay up to 70% of your gross loss to a maximum of $400.00 a week depending on your insurance policy. You may be entitled to further benefits if you have a privately held or group insurance policy. Ask the lawyer about all of your options.

Who will pay for my medical bills?

The insurance company should pay for any and all reasonable necessary medical and rehabilitation benefits incurred. The amount of benefits will depend on the nature of the injury and whether or not you have suffered a “catastrophic impairment”. If the person is not catastrophic, you are entitled to a maximum of $100,000.00 in medical and rehabilitation expenses. Please ask the lawyer under which category your injury falls.

Your lawyer will help you create the necessary documentation regarding your short-term disability claim if you receive coverage for such benefits through your employer and/or if you were injured while working and require a worker’s compensation claim.

What are disbursements?

Disbursements are out-of-pocket expenses related to the investigation and development of your case; most are covered under the compensation you receive. For a person who has suffered a critical injury disbursements can exceed $200,000 before the matter is resolved.

How do I pay for my medical expenses?

In British Columbia you’re entitled to $150,000 of what’s called first-party benefits. First-party benefits go to payment for immediate medical needs. That could be rehabilitation, getting people into help, items such as wheelchairs. In some cases we will provide financial assistance in the form of a loan. This ensures that clients who cannot afford appropriate medical care or rehabilitation can receive treatment before settlement or trial.

How much are your legal services going to cost?

Our fee is a percentage of your settlement. We do not get paid until a settlement is reached and paid. If we do not recover any money for you, we do not collect any fees. It’s that simple. Our fees are set at 30% of what we recover.

How do I prepare for a consultation?

We take a personal interest in our clients and will do everything possible to provide access to professionals who can assist in treating injuries, help establish fault against defendants, and provide you with an initial opinion about what your claim is worth.

We can meet with you at our offices, in your home, at the hospital or anywhere else that is most convenient for you. While we are located in Vancouver we can meet with you anywhere in BC. We are available to meet with you in the evening and weekends.

If you have been hurt, whether in a car accident, slip and fall, or other cause like medical malpractice, you should:

  • get the names and contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, residential addresses, etc.) for everyone who was involved. If you were in a car accident, you should also get everyone’s driver’s licence numbers and the licence plate numbers for all of the cars involved;
  • get the names and contact information for all witnesses. The witnesses will have important evidence for us;
  • take several pictures of the accident scene
  • make a summary and drawing of how the accident occurred.
  • bring a folder to the hospital to keep all of your paperwork inside of it; and
  • Document the injuries in the hospital take photos

What does a critical injury lawyer do?

We work cooperatively with your family, care team, insurers and other involved parties until a settlement is reached. We arrange access to the experts who are relevant to your case. These may include: forensic engineers, accountants and economists, vocational and education consultants, doctors, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, case planner and other health care workers and rehabilitation, educational and general purpose support workers. In some cases, we will fund specific care needs through a loan agreement until the matter has been resolved. We will fund all disbursements and will not receive payment of fees until the matter has been resolved.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

It’s very important to get a lawyer involved quite soon after you’ve suffered a critical injury. There are a number of issues involved in critical injury compensation and you need someone who’s had some experience coordinating all of the medical care, the social issues, the family issues, the work issues, and then the liability issues.

Who is involved in my loved one’s care?

Critical injuries are expert-intensive cases. Experts are twofold. There’s experts that you’ll see to treat you, so there’s physicians that provide you with medical care; there’s occupational therapists that will provide you with an opinion and work to get what equipment you need; there can be speech and language pathologists that will provide hands-on treatment, especially with brain injury, for your memory, your cognition, and speaking; and there’s physical therapists. But also there’s vocational consultants, there’s tutors, and there’s something called rehabilitation aides, which will come in and physically perform tasks around the house.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations: if the doctor recommends that you stay in hospital an extra day, or get discharged to a long term care facility; then do so. Even if all you want to do is go home; or you have no interest in going to a long term care facility; the doctor knows best. Follow their advice so you can get better.

How much can I expect to receive for my injuries?

This is a common question that most of our prospective clients ask during their initial consultations. We can provide you with an initial opinion about what your claim is worth and will be able to provide a better valuation once I know what the medical experts think about your injuries.

Typically, you will be awarded money for your:

  • pain and suffering;
  • out of pocket expenses (past and future); and
  • wage loss (past and future).

You should be aware that in Canada, pain and suffering awards are capped at a maximum amount of approximately $350,000. This amount is reserved for people who have suffered catastrophic injuries such as becoming paralyzed in an accident.

There are several factors to consider before we can estimate the value of your case. By gaining a better understanding of your injuries, we will be able to determine if there are going to be any future considerations. For instance, an injury that is minor today can become quite serious in the future. As a result, there would be medical bills, lost opportunities and lost wages (past & future) to consider, all of which would factor into determining the true value of your case. We can discuss your situation at length during your initial consultation.

When do I sue?

Generally, you have to sue before the 2 year anniversary of the accident.  If you do not sue before the 2 year anniversary, then the law will bar you from receiving any compensation at all. You should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible because there may be good reason to start your lawsuit well before the 2 year anniversary date.

How does a claim work?

The process for seeking compensation begins by making an application for insurance benefits. If there is a dispute regarding the benefits you need to take action

The next thing you have to do is start an action, which is suing someone. Suing someone doesn’t mean you’re going to end up in court, but it takes time.

With critical injuries, what you have to do is get a prognosis and develop a lifetime care plan. You get medical experts involved that are going to say, “At every stage of your life from the injury, this is all the care that you’re going to need, these are all the expenses you’re going to incur.” Then you do the same thing from the vocational side. You get a vocational consultant and an economist, and they estimate, as best they can, how much money you would’ve made if the accident didn’t happen, and what your earning potential is now. Then we try to claim the difference.

WE HELP PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED BRAIN INJURIES

When you or someone you care about has suffered a brain injury, you’re vulnerable. We will help you take the first steps towards recovering your health and your life.

Discover How

After sustaining a serious injury, it is important to meet with a lawyer as soon as possible to help you understand the legal process, what to expect and to begin the assessment process.

At Harper Grey, you’ll find the support and legal expertise you need to assist you in your recovery and secure the compensation you deserve.

 

When you have suffered a critical injury, Harper Grey will arrange for you to have the resources you need to recover while we work to arrive at a fair settlement.

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We take a personal interest in our clients and will do everything possible to provide access to professionals who can assist in treating injuries, help establish fault against defendants, and independently assess the value of the claim.

Book your free consultation

We will work cooperatively with your family, care team, insurers and other involved parties until a fair settlement is reached.

In all kinds of cases, in many different ways, we are here to help.



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Rehabilitate. Motivate. Succeed.

Over years of practice we have seen first-hand how the long term consequences of a brain or head injury can profoundly impact on the way a person lives and deeply affect the victim’s family.

Our role extends beyond providing assisting in obtaining financial compensation. We look at recovery from a holistic perspective and harmonize the critical support necessary to achieve optimum outcomes for both our clients and their families.

Our focus is helping clients get their lives back on track.

 

We start by considering the legal actions and implications, while securing immediate access to physicians and other health care providers needed for physical recovery.

We also connect clients with educational, financial and vocational consultants that help bring about a stable and sustainable return to an active, well-rounded life. The underlying philosophy of our practice is “rehabilitate, motivate and succeed.” The assistance we provide affects all aspects of our clients’ lives, including support for families and re-integration with the community.

We take a personal interest in our clients and are dedicated to carefully guiding clients along their recovery pathway, helping them access the legal, financial and community support they need to live a healthy and engaged life.

We work cooperatively with your family, care team, insurers and other involved parties until a settlement is reached. We arrange access to the experts who are relevant to your case. These may include: forensic engineers, accountants and economists, vocational and education consultants, doctors, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, case planner and other health care workers and rehabilitation, educational and general purpose support workers. In some cases, we will fund specific care needs through a loan agreement until the matter has been resolved. We will fund all disbursements and will not receive payment of fees until the matter has been resolved.