The MacIsaac Team of lawyers
The MacIsaac Team of lawyers has over a thousand years of combined legal experience. Supporting our team of personal injury lawyers are para-legals, former senior insurance company employees and our in house former RCMP investigator. This team of experts sets us apart from other law firms.
We also have offices across BC and Alberta. We can represent you anywhere in B.C. and Alberta.
The 7 Reasons We are Confident We can Maximize Your Injury Claim are:
Our Injury Lawyers are Experts in Personal Injury Law
It is important to have a lawyer who truly is an expert in personal injury law. Some lawyers who take personal injury claims are really civil litigators who take the odd personal injury claim but do not focus on personal injury law. The injury lawyers at the MacIsaac Group focus almost exclusively on personal injury law. Together they have over 275 years of personal injury law experience. They are aware of the current laws and issues that apply to your claim. For more on our personal injury click here.
We have hired Senior ICBC Claim Experts to work on your ICBC claim
Two ICBC claim experts from ICBC have been hired to assist our injury lawyers with file preparation and with negotiating with ICBC. As far as we are aware, we are the only personal injury lawyers in British Columbia that have hired senior ICBC people to work with them against ICBC on your accident claim. For more on these ICBC experts click here. click here.
We have a former Police Officer on staff to work on your accident claim
There are two advantages to this. First if we need a private investigator to work on your injury claim, there is no hesitation to getting the work done. Whereas other injury lawyers might not hire a private investigator to avoid the expense, at the MacIsaac Group there is no additional cost. Our private investigator is already on staff. Second, there is no potential conflict of interest. Insurance companies hire private investigators to spy on personal injury claimants. These private investigators can have divided loyalties. The MacIsaac Group private investigator works only for our personal injury lawyers. To learn more about our private investigator click here.
We have developed key relationships with Doctors and Specialists
On many accident claims the claimant’s doctors can be reluctant to go to court or are not specialists. Our injury lawyers have developed key relationships with qualified doctors and specialists to ensure we have essential medical evidence to support and maximize your accident claim.
The MacIsaac Group has 39 lawyers with over 1000 years of combined legal experience
When a novel legal problem arises on your accident claim, all of the lawyers are available to pool their wisdom and experience. When you retain a lawyer in the MacIsaac Group you avail yourself of the resources, wisdom, experiences, and talents of the entire Group.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers never work for insurance companies – they only work for you
Some accident lawyers work both for and against the insurance companies. At the MacIsaac Group our personal injury lawyers work only for our personal injury clients. We are experts at plaintiff work and never have to worry about pleasing an insurance company.
We only get paid if we are successful for you
Many with an accident claim cannot afford to pay an injury lawyer a large retainer and an hourly fee. On most accident claims we will agree to work on a contingency fee basis where we only get paid if you get paid. When we take an accident claim or ICBC claim on a contingency fee basis our fee is a percentage of what we recover for you. One feature that distinguishes the MacIsaac Group from a lot of other firms is that we pay all of the disbursements (expenses) incidental to pursuing personal injury claims. On many files, this runs into the tens of thousands of dollars. For more information see our Worried About Legal Fees page.
Shawn Buckley: persuasive practical problem solving solutions with years of legal experience
Columbia Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the Federal Court Trial Division, the Albert Court of Queen’s Bench, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench, and provincial courts in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. Whereas many lawyers practice for an entire career without having any decisions they were counsel on reported in paper law journals, Mr. Buckley has had several key cases reported as precedents.
TYPES OF INJURIES
Long Term Disability
When your long term disability benefits are wrongfully denied or wrongfully terminated it can be devastating.
The Buckley & Company have the experience working with long term disability providers to assist you. When your long term disability insurer denies your claim or terminated your benefits, or informs you that your benefits are ending on a certain date, we can help by ensuring you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
LTD or ‘Long-term disability benefits’ provides you with income should you become totally disabled due to an injury or injury and are no longer able to work.
Normally long term disability policies are offered to individuals through their employment or with a group plan. Individuals may have also purchased private insurance.
Long-term and short-term disability policies are quite often grouped together.
- Short-term coverage typically provides you with income for the first six to 12 months of disability
- Long term coverage commences after that if your disability continues.
Long term disability contracts do not provide standardized coverage. The requirements, wording and benefits differ from policy to policy, insurer to insurer.
In order to receive benefits, policies often state that you must be “totally disabled.” The insurer requires medical evidence to support your disability claim. Most often this evidence will be provided by your family doctor on a time to time basis in a form provided by the insurer. Most often, at some point the insurer will require you to be assessed “independently” by a doctor they have chosen, and this often results in termination of benefits.
- Long term disability policies usually require the insurer to pay benefits for two years after you become disabled from your own occupation. Usually it is at this two-year point that benefits are often terminated, because the definition of “total disability”under most plans, changes. To keep receiving benefits after two years, you must show medical evidence proving that you are unable to work at any job for which you are reasonably suited on the basis of your education, training and experience, not just the job you held at the time you became disabled.
- Insurance companies may investigate you and your claim under the using the excuse ‘prevention of fraudulent claims’. You must disclose all relevant information during this process. Though the insurance company can’t violate any laws, they are allowed to take pictures and interview your friends, neighbors and co-workers. Insurance companies may use this information out of context to justify termination of your benefits, while disregarding information that supports your ongoing disability. For instance, photographs or video evidence may suggest you are more physically capable than in fact you are.
Most people have no way of know how to respond to an insurance company’s tactics. These claims are complex and the power imbalance is in the favor of the policy provider and not you as the insured. Moreover, these claims are subject to strict time periods regarding when legal action can be taken. Your Buckley & Company lawyer has the skill and resources to address the complexities of your disability claim and to level the playing field between you and your insurer. If you are entitled to long-term disability benefits, we will ensure you get them.
Long term disability benefits problem or to make an appointment click here
Purchasing all kinds of different forms of insurance to protect yourself and family from the financial costs associated with loss or damage to your home, personal property, health or life.
Most often, if you suffer a loss for which you hold a valid contract of insurance, you are entitled to compensation or benefits as described in the policy.
Insurance claims are structured around an insurance policy and this policy is a contractual agreement that imposes obligations on both the insurer and the insured.
The insurance settlement process can be frustrating & complex, not to mention time consuming.
In all likelihood it’s probably the first time since signing the insurance contract, that you, the insured, have had any contact with your insurance provider.
Typically, certain steps must be taken before your insurance company accepts or rejects your claim, furthermore there are specific timelines regarding when you are able to sue for recovery against your insurance provider.
- Section 23 of British Columbia’s Insurance Act stipulates that in the case of property loss, a legal action must be started within two years after the date that the insured knew or should have known the loss occurred, and in all other insurance claims, within two years after the date the cause of action arose.
In most cases, this means that you have two years from the date of your insured loss to either resolve the claim with your insurer, or start a legal action against your insurance company.
As an insured, the typical obligations you have require you to pay your premiums, and in some cases, notify your insurance provider of any material changes to the things insured that will affect the insurance company’s risk. When a loss occurs, you have additional responsibilities.
- You are required to provide proof and notice of your loss within a certain time period and failure to do so can negatively affect your claim.
- You are also required to act in good faith by providing truthful information about your claim at all times.
Your insurance company has obligations as well. The person assigned to handle your claim must evaluate it and decide whether to accept or reject it. The insurer does this by assessing the evidence supplied and the insurance policy you signed.
Often times the insurer solicits the help of an adjuster to conduct a full review of your claim. Your insurance provider is legally required to act in good faith and is required to make their insurance decisions on what is referred to as“reasonable grounds.” If the insurance company acts unreasonably or is found by a court to have acted in “bad faith,” you may be entitled to significant compensation that is over and above your insurance benefits and legal costs.
Some Examples of “Bad Faith”
- Failure to properly investigate a claim
- Making threats against an insured
- Unreasonable delay in handling a claim
- Unreasonably interpreting an insurance policy against an insured
There can at times be a power imbalance created between you, as the insured, and your insurance provider. Having experienced a loss, you are likely in a financially vulnerable position. The lawyers at MacIsaac & Company have years of experience negotiating with insurance providers assisting clients to receive fair compensation. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to handle all aspects of your claim and will help you gain a fair settlement through negotiation, mediation or trial.
When you are a beneficiary collecting life insurance you may have problems with the insurance provider when making your claim.
If you fail to disclose an accurate medical history to the insurer:
- including prior medical conditions,
- medical tests or examinations
- other material fact that may affect eligibility for life insurance, and may operate to void the life insurance contract.
Our lawyers can advise you regarding the exceptions to this general rule.
Need more information on Insurance claims or to make an appointment click here
Infant and Child Injuries
A child or person under the age of 19 under the law in British Columbia and is considered an “infant.” Through the negligence of another person when an infant gets injured they can suffer injuries the same as an adult, and depending on the age of the child, the type of injuries suffered and the effects of those injuries, a child can be entitled to compensation for the same reasons as an adult.
When the injured person is under the age of 19, the procedures for resolving the claim through negotiation or through the Courts is not the same as that for an adult, mainly because of the necessary involvement of the office of the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia.
When an adult agrees to settle his or her claim for a certain amount of money, the adult signs a release agreement and in exchange, receives his or her settlement amount. In the case of an infant’s claim, the settlement must be approved by the Public Guardian and Trustee, and in the case of settlements over $50,000, the Public Trustee reviews the proposed settlement and then makes recommendations to the Court as to the appropriateness of the settlement, including any legal fees if the infant has a lawyer, and then the Court makes the final decision on the matter.
In supporting the proposed settlement, written submissions must be provided to the office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. The submission must explain:
- the circumstances of the accident
- the injuries suffered
- whether the infant has ongoing or permanent symptoms
- limitations arising out of the injuries
- amount of compensation proposed
- as well as reasons to justify the proposed compensation
- the steps taken in the litigation process
- if an action has been commenced
- any relevant legal issues (such as liability or contributory negligence) that might affect the amount of compensation,
- the amount of legal fees proposed.
Relevant medical or other documentary evidence Accompanying the written submissions must also be included to the Public Guardian and Trustee to fully consider the merits of the claim and proposed settlement.
When the settlement is approved, the settlement monies are forwarded to the Public Guardian and Trustee’s office where they are held in trust for the infant until he or she attains the age of 19 years.
If the Public Guardian and Trustee’s office does not approve the settlement, an application can be made to Court to approve it, although the application is likely to be contested, or the matter is referred back for further negotiation or gathering of evidence or information as the case may require.
This process is designed to protect the interests of the infant, and it can provide peace of mind to the infant’s parents in the way of ensuring their child has received a fair settlement.
Want more information on the Public Guardian and Trustee’s role in an infant’s personal injury claim, see the website of the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia: http://www.trustee.bc.ca/services/child-and-youth-services/Pages/infant-settlements.aspx
Typically, the limitation period within which a legal action must be commenced in personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident, but for infants, the limitation period is postponed until two years after the infant attains the age of majority (19 years of age). Also, an infant’s legal action must be commenced by a “Litigation Guardian” (typically one of the child’s parents or a legal guardian) who can instruct the lawyer and receive and consider legal advice. A parent who may have been at fault for the child’s injuries is not eligible to act as Litigation Guardian.
Because of obvious complexities involved in pursuing a claim on behalf of a child, it’s always a good idea to retain a lawyer to assist with the process, and despite the additional steps the lawyer is required to take in the course of representing an infant, there are no additional legal fees. Buckley & Company has represented numerous infants with injuries ranging from mild whiplash type injuries to catastrophic brain injuries. We understand the devastating effect a child’s injuries can have on a family, and we strive to handle these claims with professional integrity and respect and consideration for the family of the injured child.
Need more information on Infant and Child Injuries claims or to make an appointment click here
How We Get Paid
For personal injury claims and most insurance claims, Buckley & Company will work for you under a contingency fee agreement. This means we don’t get paid unless and until you get paid. Simply put, if we recover nothing for you, you pay us no legal fees. If we are successful in recovering compensation for you, you pay us a percentage of the amount we recover at the conclusion of your claim.
Typically, that percentage will be between 25% and 33.3%. We can discuss the question of legal fees with you during your free consultation.
Another option is to pay your lawyer in the conventional way, which is at an hourly rate.
If you hire your lawyer on an hourly basis, your lawyer will ask for a retainer, that is payment in advance of services and will send you regular interim accounts for payment.
If you choose to pay your lawyer on a ‘contingency fee’ basis, then in addition to paying legal fees at the conclusion of your claim, all the other expenses which your lawyer incurs in the prosecution of your claim such as:
- Court Registry fees
- the cost of obtaining medical evidence
- evidence necessary to advance your case
- the cost of experts reports
These are financed by your Buckley & Company lawyer. These expenses, known as “disbursements,” can add up to thousands, and in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars. They are payable at the conclusion of your claim, and are most often recovered from the at-fault party’s insurer.
For information on a Contingency Fee Agreement or to make an appointment click here
Traumatic Head Injury, or referred to as Brain Injury, Concussion, Post Concussion Syndrome
Head injury is any injury to the brain resulting in damage to the tissues of the brain that results in impairment of normal brain function. A Traumatic Brain Injury can be caused either directly, such as by a blow or other trauma to the head and can be brought on indirectly as a result of other injuries, like whiplash, for example. Head injury is most often caused by car or motorcycle accidents but can also result from pedestrian/vehicle accidents, cycling accidents, falls, and other trauma.
Sports can also bring on a brain injury:
- Hockey – Traumatic brain injuries can result from fast-moving contact sports such as hockey. Contact with the ice, a stick, the boards or another player may not seem severe but can result in concussion. Always wear approved and proper-fitting protective equipment!
- Soccer – To head the ball or not? This topic has been debated in recent years, with some medical experts claiming that children should avoid heading the ball. Head injuries account for up to one-fifth of all soccer injuries. However, most soccer concussions occur when two players heads collide.
- Cycling – It’s easy to see the link between falling off a bike and a closed head injury. Experts say wearing a properly-fitted bicycle helmet can reduce your chances of head injury by half. In BC, a law passed in 1995 mandates that cyclists must wear certified helmets.
- Longboarding – This increasingly popular sport, modeled after surfing, has obvious connections to head injury. The greater speeds achieved by longboards make head injury even more prevalent. Helmets, it goes without saying, should be standard equipment.
- Diving – Head injuries from diving occur most often when one strikes there head on the bottom of the pool. The depth of the water should always be determined prior to diving to make sure the dive can be made safely.
- Football – Football helmets gained popularity in the 1890s and continue to evolve. The rate at which players can meet and butt heads on the field has long been an area of great concern, as life-changing injury and even fatalities have resulted. Efforts to lessen impact on the brain continue with different rules being implemented and continued helmet technology improvement.
A person who sustains a traumatic brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful act may be entitled to significant compensation.
Trauma to the brain can cause bleeding, bruising, twisting or tearing of the brain tissue.
In the case of a brain injury caused by whiplash, the brain is subjected to the same acceleration/deceleration forces as the rest of your body, and can sustain injury when it is shaken inside your skull. Brain injury can occur at the time of the accident or develop later as a result of swelling, bleeding or further complications.
A brain injury may show up on diagnostic imaging tests, such as CT scans, but often, milder brain injuries will not be detected by these tests, and in many instances, these tests are not administered right away. However, experts can diagnose a brain injury depending on various other factors, including whether or not there was loss of consciousness at the time of injury, the duration of any loss of consciousness, whether there is amnesia for a period of time before or after the accident or injury, a person’s level of alertness and orientation around the time of injury, and particular constellations of symptoms at the time of the injury and following it.
Head injuries range in severity from very mild (sometimes described as “concussion”), to catastrophic or severe, and can involve a variety of symptoms and loss of normal function. Symptoms can be physical, cognitive, and emotional, and even when subtle can result in significant disruption of a person’s ability to function in his or her work, relationships and day-to-day activities.
Some common symptoms of a mild brain injury include:
- poor short term memory
- blurred vision
- loss of balance
- emotional volatility
- difficulty multi-tasking or concentrating on more than one thing at a time
Symptoms of more severe traumatic head injury typically include any of the above, as well as problems with higher brain functioning, such thought organization, ability to express oneself, difficulty selecting and recalling words or names, personality change, and loss or impairment of other bodily functions.
Other common symptoms of a more severe traumatic brain injury include:
- sexual dysfunction
- memory loss
- reduced perception
- emotional volatility
- slowed thinking and impaired comprehension
- difficulties with verbal expression
- weakness or loss of use of limbs
- loss of smell or taste
- dis-inhibition and socially inappropriate behavior
- inability to manage one’s own finances or affairs
The effects of brain injury, even a mild one, can be emotionally devastating to a person, and can lead to the development of depression, anxiety or other psychological disorders, which can in turn magnify the effects of the brain injury and complicate or prolong a person’s recovery. Intensive therapy and counseling may be required, and sometimes a person will require assistance of an occupational therapist or rehabilitation expert on a long term basis. In cases of catastrophic brain injury, a person is essentially unable to function independently and will require one-on-one care and assistance for life.
Healing time for brain injuries ranges from several months to years. Some brain injuries never heal.
Buckley and Company has extensive experience acting for victims of mild to severe and catastrophic traumatic brain injury. Compensation may include past and future income loss, significant payment for pain and suffering, out of pocket expenses for things like travel, medical treatment and rehabilitation, and the costs of future care, which can include future rehabilitation expenses and counseling, home-making assistance, adaptive aids, and any other reasonable costs associated with treatment and proper care of a brain-injured person.
Quantifying claims for future income loss and future care can be a complex exercise in some cases. Buckley & Company’s lawyers have the experience, as well as access to medical, rehabilitation, economic and vocational experts assist in navigating these complicated issues. We will work alongside a network of medical and rehabilitation experts in the field of brain injury to assist in obtaining the care and services you or your loved one needs, and that you will receive appropriate compensation to fund them as long as needed.
Need Head Injury information or to make an appointment click here
Fractures and Orthopaedic Injuries
Fractures and Orthopaedic injuries involve any injury to the musculoskeletal system;
- injuries to bones
- Injury to joints
- ligament Injury
- damage to cartilage
- damage to tendons and muscles that support the bones
Bone fractures and orthopaedic injuries, are often sustained in motor vehicle accidents, falls or other personal mishaps. If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence or wrongful act, such as negligent driving, you may have a claim for compensation.
Broken bones and serious fractures can take a long time to heal. A displaced fractures can injure the tissues and nerves surrounding the fractured bone. These fractures are sometimes fixed by surgical insertion of “hardware” such as plates, screws and nails, which can cause further pain, swelling of tissues, and irritation.
In some cases, further surgery will be required months or years following the initial fractures and orthopaedic injuries, to remove the hardware, resulting in a further period of recovery and rehabilitation.
When fractures involve the bones of the hips, legs, feet or ankles, a person may be wheelchair bound for up to three months or more following injury. If fractures occur at the location of a joint, typically a hip, ankle, foot, or knee, complications are common. Such complications might include arthritis, chronic pain, swelling and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
When you have received a traumatic injury to the complex musculoskeletal system, your body requires a timely diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Buckley and Company’s lawyers understand through experience that fractures and orthopaedic injuries can cause pain and disability for years, and in some cases, for life. In the course of representing injured clients, we retain appropriate medical experts to accurately diagnose your injuries and any complications you have suffered, or are likely to suffer and provide a prognosis so that you receive compensation for past and future losses for the full extent of your injury.
Information on Fractures and Orthopaedic Injuries or to make an appointment click here
Fatal Accidents (Wrongful Death)
Fatal Accidents, wrongful death is a legal term used to describe the circumstances in which one the negligence of one person causes the death of another.
Often, wrongful death claims arise because of reckless or negligent driving of another motorist. If this occurs, family members of the person wrongfully killed may be entitled to significant compensation.
In BC, The Family Compensation Act provides the legal framework for compensating the family members of a person killed by the wrongful act or negligence of another person.
The Family Compensation Act permits spouse (including same sex and common law spouses), children (including adopted children and stepchildren), parents and grandparents to claim compensation for the death of their loved one.
Fatal Accident (Wrongful Death) Compensation may be claimed for:
- loss of love
- guidance and affection
- loss of past and future financial support
- loss of household services
- loss of inheritance
- medical, hospital and funeral expenses.
Establishing the claims for loss of financial support and household services can be quite involved in some cases. Buckley and Company has the experience, and the economic experts when necessary, to quantify these complicated issues.
Under Part 7 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act as a Family member you may also be entitled to “no-fault” death benefits in cases where the wrongful death occurred in the course of a motor vehicle accident.
Buckley and Company have vast experience in the wrongful death legal process following the loss of a loved one. We also know that the loss of a loved one has devastating consequences, both emotionally and financially, we always maintain our priority in assuring the future financial security of surviving family members.
For more information on Fatal Accidents (Wrongful Death) claims or to make an appointment click here
When you’re a cyclists you are often required to share the road with much larger and faster vehicles, this makes you the cyclists vulnerable to injury and loss when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. It is obvious that a bike rider involved in a collision with a motor vehicle can suffer serious injuries, even when properly wearing a helmet and safety equipment that is required by law.
Cyclist accidents causing injuries as a result of a careless motorist are entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses.
Motor Vehicle drivers are required to take certain precautions when sharing the road with cyclists.
The drivers must always be on the look out for cyclists and be ready to adjust their driving when a rider is present, including slowing down when driving beside a cyclist if failing to do so could be dangerous. Drivers who park on the street are also required to check for cyclists before opening the door to their vehicles.
Pursuant to British Columbia’s Motor Vehicle Act, the cyclist has statutory rights and duties the same as someone operating a motor vehicle.
There are also special responsibilities particular to cyclists under the Motor Vehicle Act that pertains to proper safety equipment and rules of the road. An example of this would be:
- bicycles are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks.’
- Cyclists must ride as near as possible to the right side of the road.
- Cyclists must also dismount at cross-walks unless specifically permitted.
- It is also the law in British Columbia that cyclists must wear safety helmets.
By following these rules, cyclists can guard against accidents and protect their claim for compensation against any reduction for contributory negligence if injured in a collision with a motor vehicle.