If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury in a car accident, you will have a multitude of questions. Brain injuries are life changing. ICBC claims are complex. Having the right information will help you cope with your brain injury, optimize your recovery, and navigate the personal injury claims process. We’ve put together a top 10 list of frequently asked questions about brain injury after a motor vehicle accident.
Top 10 Questions to ask a brain injury lawyer after a car accident
1. When should I file my ICBC claim?
Ideally, you should report the accident to ICBC within 24 hours of the accident, provide a written statement describing the accident to ICBC within 30 days of the accident, and file a proof of claim form (CL-22 Insurance Claim) within 90 days of the accident. In BC, the basic limitation for starting a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. For more information about limitation dates, visit our website.
2. What types of evidence do I need to support my brain injury claim?
The two main types of evidence are testimony and documents. Testimony can be from witnesses to the accident, and from people who knew you before the accident, who can testify as to how the accident changed you. Documents can include medical documents, medical reports and financial documents. For more detail please read our recent blog post on gathering evidence to support your ICBC claim.
3. Can I challenge ICBC if they say I am wholly or partially at fault for the car accident that caused my brain injury?
Yes, although you may want to get a lawyer as once ICBC makes an internal determination of liability they generally refuse to change it.
4. Can I still make an ICBC claim for my brain injury if I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt or bike helmet when the accident took place?
Yes. Generally speaking, benefits for massage therapy, physiotherapy etc (referred to as Part 7 benefits) are available to a person who is injured as a result of a BC motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If you were not wearing a seatbelt or a bike helmet, ICBC will raise the defence of contributory negligence, arguing that you failed to take reasonable care for your own safety by not wearing a helmet or seatbelt.
5. What options are available to treat my brain injury and help me recover?
The types of treatments you may need for your brain injury will depend on the severity of your injury and the symptoms you are experiencing. It is essential that you work with your doctor and other medical professionals to develop a treatment plan to address your symptoms and maximize your recovery. During any initial consultations with a personal injury lawyer ask them about their professional contacts with rehabilitation specialists and how they can help you access the best medical and rehabilitation team.
6. What expenses and treatments can I claim from ICBC in my Part 7 claim?
If an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident, they are entitled to claim treatment from ICBC under a Part 7 claim. Under Schedule 3.1 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation, health care services are defined to include acupuncture, chiropractic sessions, counselling, kinesiology, massage therapy, physiotherapy and psychology.
7. How can I be sure to choose a car accident lawyer with brain injury claim experience?
A law firm with the necessary experience and expertise in brain injury claims will be able to determine the types of experts necessary and have the financial resources to pay for the most qualified experts in their fields in order to advance your claim. Experienced brain injury lawyers understand that people living with a brain injury struggle with communication and are sensitive and patient.
8. How will I be compensated after the car accident?
An experienced major accident lawyer can review your case and advise you on each type of compensation you should claim, often referred to as heads of damages.
9. What categories (also known as “heads”) of damages am I entitled to claim?
The most common heads of damages you may be entitled to include:
- Non-pecuniary damages to compensate for your pain and suffering
- Loss of past income earning capacity;
- Loss of future income earning capacity;
- Out of pocket expenses, including the costs of medical treatment or medications incurred from the date of the accident to settlement of your claim or trial;
- Cost of future care; and
- Loss of housekeeping capacity.
10. How do legal fees work in brain injury cases, and are there any hidden charges?
Most personal injury lawyers fee structures are on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay an hourly rate, but pay your lawyer at conclusion of the case, and usually only if the case is successful. The maximum personal injury fee is 33.3%. At Simpson, Thomas & Associates we charge a contingency fee of 24% and lower that to 20% for catastrophic injury cases.
At the end of the day, each brain injury—and each brain injury ICBC claim—is unique. You will certainly have questions about the specific aspects of your personal injury claim beyond the top 10 set out above. To get answers and clear legal advice, contact our brain injury car accident lawyers today.
After life-altering brain injury, car accident lawyers are here to help
An experienced brain injury lawyer will protect your legal rights and help prove your claim. Even more than that, your lawyer will be an advocate on your behalf, securing the best treatment and funding to expedite recovery. Contact Simpson, Thomas & Associates today at (604) 689 8888 if you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury. Car accident lawyers at our firm have extensive experience handling ICBC claims involving traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries. Request your free consultation to find out how our highly skilled brain injury car accident lawyers can assist you in getting the help you need for rehabilitation and the compensation you deserve for your injuries.