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What Are Disbursements?

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you are entitled to bring a claim for personal injury compensation. Successful personal injury claimants are also entitled to recover legal fees and disbursements incurred to advance their claim. Our ICBC car accident lawyers recently discussed the average legal fees for an ICBC claim.   Today we will discuss disbursements—that is, the out-of-pocket expenses associated with pursuing an ICBC claim.

Types of Disbursements in an ICBC Claim

Disbursements are the actual expenses incurred while advancing an ICBC claim. They include more modest expenses such as court filing fees, photocopying, and process server fees, as well as more significant expenses such as fees for independent medical examinations, MRIs, and expert reports. If your claim is successful, you are entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable disbursements, either as part of the settlement of your ICBC claim or as part of the court’s award if your ICBC claim goes to trial. ICBC frequently disputes reasonableness of disbursements at the close of a personal injury claim, refusing to pay certain expenses. If you have a skilled car accident lawyer representing you, your lawyer will push back to justify the expenses, and if needed, bring an application to the court for a ruling on which disbursements are payable by ICBC.

Disbursements will be Larger in Complex Injury Claims

Necessary disbursements will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the complexity of issues at stake in your ICBC car accident claim. For minor injury claims or cases in which settlement is achieved at an earlier stage, reasonable disbursements are typically in the range of $1,000 to $10,000. Disbursements in complex injury cases (for example, traumatic brain injury claims,  chronic pain claims, or claims for catastrophic injuries such as paraplegia or quadriplegia) and cases involving liability disputes will be more substantial. To properly present a complex injury claim, opinion evidence from doctors, treatment providers, rehabilitation specialists, and/or economists is often necessary to establish the nature and full extent injuries and losses. These professionals are entitled to charge fees for providing their services, which can add up quickly. If liability is disputed, it may be necessary to incur the cost of retaining an accident reconstruction expert to provide opinion evidence to establish the cause of the accident, or an investigator to locate and interview eyewitnesses to support your claim.

Talk to us About Covering Disbursements While your ICBC Claim is Being Advanced

Some personal injury law firms—including Simpson Thomas & Associates—agree to cover disbursements up front so that you do not have to pay anything out of pocket until you recover damages. At Simpson Thomas & Associates, we also do not charge a legal fee or disbursements if your case is unsuccessful. We welcome you to contact us today at 604-689-8888 to book a free initial consultation with one of our team of top ICBC car accident lawyers. This is an excellent no-obligation opportunity to ask question about our contingency fee agreement and arrangements for carrying disbursements to help advance your ICBC claim.


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