Personal Injury & ICBC Claims
The Role of the Lawyer
Your lawyer should have undivided loyalty to you and represent only your best interests. In general, lawyers have two roles in their representation of you. They act as your advisor when dealing with you, and as your advocate when dealing on your behalf. People hire lawyers for different reasons. Some people want to ensure that they are treated fairly and that their rights are protected. Some people do not want to have to deal with adversarial situations and prefer to have a professional act for them. Others want to ensure that they receive all they are legally entitled to by way of proper compensation. Whatever the reasons or motivations, a person should ensure that if they hire a lawyer, they hire someone with whom they feel comfortable and in whom they have confidence. You may end up dealing with your lawyer for a number of years and dealing with personal or intimate details of your life. Therefore, choosing a lawyer is not a decision that should be made lightly. Please feel free to contact us if you are considering retaining a lawyer.
When acting as your legal advisor, your lawyer should explain to you, in plain language, the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, how the legal system and litigation process (anatomy of a lawsuit) works, what sort of results can and cannot be achieved, and what steps need to be taken or may be taken to assist in successfully concluding your claim. Your lawyer should advise what alternate solutions may be available to you and provide advice as to the best course to follow. Your lawyer should listen to you and hear your complaints, and provide you with information and assistance in resolving them. While a lawyer cannot always be available to speak with you, your concerns should always addressed or your calls returned in a timely fashion.
As your advocate, your lawyer will deal on your behalf with the insurance adjuster or with the insurer’s lawyer. Your lawyer should seek to obtain for you the full benefit of the legal system. Your interests should be placed first and your case should be advanced with vigor and determination. Your lawyer should utilize skill and experience to gather the evidence required to best support your case. Your lawyer should ensure that your receive appropriate care and that you are afforded access to the best available treatment or rehabilitation facilities as is required in your case. Your lawyer should work to ensure that you receive benefits when you need them. Your lawyer should skillfully negotiate a settlement of your claim in a timely fashion. If negotiations fail, your lawyer should be skilled in the use of other settlement strategies and tools such as settlement conferences or mediation. If these fail, your lawyer should guide you through the litigation process and forcefully present your case for you at trial.