HOM-Law Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the more common questions that we get asked during our initial consultations. Perhaps your questions is listed below. If it’s not please feel free to reach out to one of our personal injury lawyers and we would be happy to help.

Can I afford to pursue this claim?

Naturally, this depends on several mitigating factors. Whether it makes sense to pursue a claim will depend upon variables including the likelihood of winning, the size of the award that you will likely receive at the end, the likelihood of resolving the file our of court by negotiation or mediation. Additionally, the defenses available to the other side, the type of billing for services available (contingency or hourly) and the ability of the defendant to pay (or the existence of appropriate insurance) can all influence whether pursuing a claim is financially worth while.

Only you can decide. Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt will provide you with all of the advice and information you need to make your decision. The decision however, is ultimately yours.

I have an ICBC/personal injury claim. How much I can expect to be compensated for pain and suffering?

Each claim is different. The amount of your entitlement for pain and suffering is based upon several principals: precedent or what other judges have awarded for injuries of a similar nature to yours will be taken into account in determining the size of the award.

Limitations set by the Supreme Court of Canada (the trilogy cases) in 1975 confirm that the maximum amount of money available for pain and suffering or “non-pecuniary damages” (damages that cannot be measured in money), was $100,000 in 1975. Indexed for inflation that figure now approaches $270,000.

That award will be made in the case of a young infant who has been rendered a high level quadriplegic with a full life expectancy and complete mental awareness (understands the reality of his/her circumstances). All other claim will be determined in a court of law based upon reference to that benchmark. All negotiations among lawyers or insurance companies will be based upon an understanding of what might occur if the matter were to be before a court of law. Note, however, that this is for pain and suffering only. All other “heads of damage” will accrue in addition to this amount.

My company has been sued for failing to deliver as promised on a contract. I am satisfied that we have done nothing wrong. Do I have to hire a lawyer and can I recover that cost of doing so?

You must defend yourself. When you are served with pleadings (Writ and Statement of Claim), whether a Supreme Court or Small Claims Court action, you will have an obligation to reply in proper form.

If you do not do so the plaintiff may seek default judgment and a decision will be entered in the court against you. It can be enforced and you may be compelled to pay. Obviously you will have to pay a lawyer to defend your company.

Hopefully, your lawyer will be able to convince the plaintiff that he has little chance of success and end the proceedings early. In the event that you must run a Supreme Court trial but do ultimately win you may seek costs from the other side in accordance with the schedules provided in the Rules of Court toward the money you spent defending yourself.

You may also claim all reasonable disbursements incurred in that regard.