How a Lawyer Can Come to Your Rescue After a Car Accident
5 Ways CBM Lawyers evened the playing field between one car crash victim and ICBC.
One minute you’re sitting in your car waiting to make a left-hand turn, and the next you’ve hit a Honda Civic that’s run a red light.
Ms. King, the driver of the car, suffered a concussion and injuries to most everywhere that you need to sit at a desk and work an office job: neck, back, chest and ribs, her right arm—which was just the start. After the initial accident, Ms. King had reduced range of motion, pain, tenderness, muscle spasms, numbness radiating down her right arm to her fingertips, dizziness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, fatigue, depression, and difficulty concentrating as well as sleeping. The constant headaches (that could be triggered by cold weather, certain foods, light, noise or stress) were the most debilitating.
An accident like this can happen to anyone. As a result, holding a job, let alone maintaining a certain quality of life, can turn into a daily battle. But there is help out there, and the moment Ms. King enlisted CBM Lawyers to take her case and fight for her, things got much better. And for anyone fighting the similar circumstances after a collision, these are the five ways a lawyer could help you, too.
1. Coordinating Medical Assessments and Treatments
The first thing CBM set out to do, was to make sure Ms. King was getting all the doctor-recommended treatments so she could recover as fully and as quickly as possible. This included finding the specific medical experts for each of her injuries to diagnose her accurately and give the best treatment recommendations. So she saw a neurologist for her headaches, and a physiatrist who specialized in physical medicine and rehabilitation for her neck and shoulder injuries. CBM even acted as a liaison for Ms. King, communicating treatment plans to her other doctors so that everyone was on the same page, and Ms. King would get the most efficient and effective care, which wasn’t going to stop until she had recovered as much as possible.
2. Winning Appropriate Compensation for Life-Changing Injuries
After her accident, Ms. King was left with ongoing headaches, as well as neck and shoulder pain. Her headaches were extremely sensitive to light, so she often had to wear dark sunglasses indoors. Prior to the accident, Ms. King was your typical active Vancouverite, who loved getting outdoors, and being social, but her true passion was her horses. She even rode competitively and a large part of her life revolved around training and travelling for horse shows. After the accident, any activity that so much as jostled her body would trigger painful headaches. Things were so bad that even leaving the house, was a physical challenge. The lawyers at CBM recognized that no amount of money could ever replace what was taken from her, but they worked to ensure that Ms. King at least received sizeable monetary compensation for this loss.
3. Getting Appropriate Compensation for Life-Long Medical Costs
As a result of the collision, Ms. King was left with injuries that were never going to completely heal. She will likely continue to suffer daily headaches as well as neck and shoulder pain for the rest of her life. To manage her pain and maintain function, Ms. King has to use various treatments, everything from medications to massage therapy—none of which is cheap. CBM made sure she was compensated for the amount that her treatment regimen would cost, not just for the next couple years, but for the rest of her life. CBM enlisted the services of an occupational therapist and an economist to help quantify the costs associated with Ms. King’s future care and used this amount as a basis for their negotiations with ICBC to get the best result.
4. Securing Compensation for a Loss of Future Income
Injuries sustained in a car accident can affect your ability to earn an income, not only right after the collision as you’re recovering, but also well into the future. CBM Lawyers made sure Ms. King was compensated for loss of sick bank time she had already sustained due to the days she was required to take off from work as a result of her injuries. They also got her compensation for losses of income that could occur in her future. Ms. King was lucky, and had a great and understanding supervisor at work that let her work from home most of the week and create her own flexible schedule. This way she was able to maintain full-time employment, despite her many physical and emotional challenges, but things could change if her supervisor changed, or she changed jobs, and so CBM fought to make sure that she would be compensated for the fact that her overall capacity to work full-time had been affected, and that if she were ever to have a supervisor who was less understanding of her injuries, she would likely have difficulty maintaining her current employment, as well as securing and maintaining other full-time employment.
5. Evening the Playing Field Between You and ICBC
ICBC, B.C.’s one and only insurer, took the position that Ms. King was solely responsible for her collision, a position that if left unchallenged would have greatly reduced the care and compensation afforded to Ms. King to ease her injuries. And so CBM did its own investigation, and obtained evidence and records to help prove she wasn’t at fault. They hunted down copies of traffic light sequencing data, and got the police file on the accident, and filed a freedom of information request to ICBC so that they could review any witness statements. CBM knew that a trial isn’t the only way that a personal injury lawsuit can result in fair compensation, so with this in mind, CBM organized a mediation between Ms. King, the claims examiner and the defence counsel representing ICBC. A mediation allowed Ms. King the opportunity to tell her story of how the accident affected her life directly to the people responsible for dealing with her claim. And the results couldn’t have been better for Ms. King. The parties settled within a couple of weeks of the mediation, Ms. King was able to get appropriate compensation for her injuries, future medical expenses, loss of quality of life and future work, and she was able to avoid having to go through a stressful trial in court.
“Folks need to be prepared for the stress of the process as well, not just the trial,” explains Ms. King. Because of that stress, there were times where Ms. King says she just wanted to get in the car, take her dog and run away and hide. “Sometimes the exposure and constant questioning is really hard to swallow,” says Ms. King. “People need to ask questions and trust their experts that are working with them.”
For more information, contact CBM Lawyers at cbmlawyers.com.