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
Compensation for your losses
What’s Your claim worth?
The value of your claim will depend on a variety of factors unique to your claim including:
- who is at fault for your injuries
- the types of injuries you’ve suffered
- how long you are expected to suffer with your injuries
- how have your injuries affected your life
- how have your injuries effected your employment
Each claim is unique, but there are general guidelines and rules of law to provide reference for appropriate compensation for each individual claim.
In addition to the compensation discussed in this section, which are known as “tort” damages, and even if you were at fault for your injuries, you may be entitled to “no-fault benefits” from ICBC.
With motor vehicle accident caused injuries, you need to understand that ICBC has settlement guidelines for soft tissue injuries that are capped at $15,000 for damages for pain and suffering, that British Columbia courts are not bound by ICBC’s guidelines, and in fact, courts have awarded in access of $100,000 for more serious soft tissue injuries which result in chronic, or long term pain and limitations.
(Non-Pecuniary or General Damages)
Pain, Suffering and Loss of Enjoyment of Life or Non-pecuniary or general damages are designed to compensate an injured person for the loss of ability to fully enjoy life the same way he or she did before the injury.
Compensation for your losses Factors that are considered are:
- the type & severity of the injuries
- the extent of pain a person has endured and/or will continue to endure as a result of the injuries
- the impact of the injuries on the person’s
- the impact of the injuries on the person’s employment
- the impact of the injuries on the person’s recreational and day-to-day activities
- psychological well-being
- their personal relationships
There is no precise or mathematical means to calculate Non-pecuniary damages. Instead, courts have established a range of damages that vary with the type of injuries and the way in which the injuries have affected the particular claimant’s life.
Compensation for your losses
In 1979 the Supreme Court of Canada established an arbitrary limit of $100,000 that could be awarded for the most serious and devastating of injuries. The limit, or cap for non-pecuniary damages increases each year with inflation, and currently is about $325,000.
Loss of Income
An injured person is entitled to be compensated for loss of any income that would have been earned up until the date of settlement or trial, as well they are entitled to any income realistically expected to be lost in the future as a result of the injuries suffered. There have been cases where a person is entitled to compensation for loss of income even if he or she was not working or employed at the time of injury. Compensation for loss of income may include the value of any lost benefits. Even if a person may have lost the opportunity for a promotion or change to a higher paying job. If proven, this “loss of opportunity” is also recoverable.
Past Loss of Income
A person can also receive compensation for losses injured by the fault of another person and is entitled to recover any wages or salary lost if he or she cannot work due to the injuries suffered.
Past loss of income is calculated from the date of the loss until the conclusion of the claim by trial or settlement. If the person was injured in a motor vehicle accident, her or she is entitled to loss of income (after tax income), and the amount is further reduced by any disability benefits paid by ICBC under Part 7 (“no-fault benefits”).
Loss of Future Income or Loss of Earning Capacity
If a person can prove that his or her injuries will probably result in loss of income past the settlement or trial date, that person is entitled to compensation for loss of future income. Sometimes a person will be totally disabled for the remainder of his or her entire working life, and sometimes he or she might be only partially disabled, or disabled from only some type of work but capable of others. The Courts generally view a person’s ability to work as what’s referred to as a “capital asset,” the value of which varies depending on a person’s age, work history, education and other factors.
Sometimes a person’s future loss of income can be calculated fairly easily by referencing the wage or salary earned at the time of injury, but sometimes the loss cannot be so easily calculated.
When there is a “real and substantial possibility” that an injured person will lose income in the future, they are entitled to be compensated for that loss, even if a return to a full or part time occupation has been realized. This type of income loss is referred to a ‘loss of earning capacity’ and requires an assessment of the value a person’s “capital asset” has been diminished. This calculation is more arbitrary than mathematical and is considered on a case by case basis. Some factors the court will consider when assessing a loss of earning capacity are whether the injured person:
- less capable overall from earning income from all types of employment
- less marketable or attractive as an employee to potential employers
- lost the ability to take advantage of all job opportunities which might have been open to him or her had the injury not occurred
- less valuable to him or herself as a person capable of earning income in a competitive labor market
When preparing a case for settlement or trial it’s important to have an accurate medical prognosis which can help determine future income loss. In more complex cases, your Buckley & Company lawyer also has access to expert economists, vocational and work capacity professionals who can assist in developing and supporting your claim for loss of income.
Costs of Future Care
When a person is injured through the fault of another person they are entitled to receive money to fund items and assistance necessary to improve and maintain the injured person’s physical and mental health.
Future care costs may include such things as:
- rehabilitation support services
- chiropractic treatment
- massage therapy
- equipment and home alterations reasonably necessary to facilitate independence and mobility
- housekeeping services
- yard maintenance and handyman services
- psychological counselling
- occupational therapy
- nursing or in-home care services
- child care
- and educational or vocational support services
Before you can settle your claim, it’s important to have a long-term medical prognosis addressing the duration of accident related injuries and the associated limitations, plus the recommendations of qualified professionals for future care needs over the long term.
Where necessary, Buckley & Company can retain experts to provide recommendations for future care needs, and in more complex cases, the costs of the recommended items over the long term, or for life, if necessary.
Loss of Housekeeping Capacity
If a person injured through the fault of someone else and is less able to perform their usual tasks in and around their home, they are entitled to compensation for their reduced capacity to perform those chores.
The courts will recognize this loss by awarding a higher amount for non-pecuniary damages, and sometimes it will included the costs of future care or special damages.
However, loss of housekeeping capacity is sometimes considered a separate type of loss, and another specific amount will be awarded to compensate the injured person for their loss of ability to perform household tasks, even when the person has not actually spent money to hire someone else to do those tasks.
‘In Trust’ Claims for Assistance Provided by Family Members
When a family member such as a spouse or parent provides services to an injured relative, they may be entitled to compensation, regardless if the injured person did not pay for the services. The claim is made as part of the injured person’s claim for compensation “in trust” for the person who provides the services. Generally, the services will involve homemaking or nursing services above and beyond what would reasonably be expected from the family member who provided them. Typically, it must be demonstrated that the person who provided these “extraordinary services” experienced an economic loss (such as income loss) because of the time and effort spent providing the services, or that the person provided services for which the injured person would otherwise have incurred an expense, such as the hiring of a housekeeper, nurse or care attendant.
When you are injured and have benefited from the extraordinary services of family members, you should keep track of the time they spend in providing the services in order to support your claim for compensation on their behalf.
Special damages are reasonably incurred expenses through the fault of another person. When injured in an accident for which someone else is at fault, you have probably incurred out-of-pocket expenses for things such as:
- Repair or replacement of damaged property or clothing
- Ambulance fees
- Medical treatment
- Fees and/or user fees for therapies such as massage, chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy or acupuncture
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Dental expenses
- Vehicle repair
- Car rental
- Insurance deductibles
- Travel expenses or mileage to medical appointments and therapies
- Housekeeping services
- Medical equipment or adaptive aids
- Expenses or lost income incurred by family members caring for an injured person
When the insurance company or your own extended benefits coverage does not cover these types of expenses, they are recoverable at the conclusion of your claim if they were reasonably incurred in relation to your accident and injuries.
Working closely with your doctor and other health providers to determine appropriate means of treatment and rehabilitation. Usually, if you’ve incurred the expense following a physician’s advice, you will be able to recover the expense. It is also a good idea to keep any receipts or invoices for out-of-pocket expenses.
For information on Compensation for your losses or to make an appointment click here
Chronic pain often follows injuries sustained in the course of motor vehicle accidents, including “whiplash” type injuries. Your ICBC adjuster may tell you that whiplash injuries are not serious and that your pain will be short-lived, but this is often not the case. No two people recover from injuries on the same time schedule, and many factors will determine what your own outcome will be.
You may have good days and bad days, or dealing with Chronic pain all of the time.
Symptoms may include:
- burning pain
- dull aches or sharp pain.
- chronic pain may cause simple movements to hurt
- can disrupt sleep patterns
- reduce energy
- reduce cognitive functioning
- It often impairs work, social, recreational and social activity
- restricts your quality of life.
Often, these additional complications can lead to onset of depression, anxiety or other emotional symptoms which can aggravate your pain and delay your recovery.
Even though the injury cannot be documented through objective testing like x-rays or other diagnostic scans, because the pain caused is often invisible, ICBC or other insurers may terminate your benefits or rehabilitative therapies on the basis that you should recover within a certain time frame.
The lawyers at Buckley & Company are highly experienced in the area of chronic pain compensation, and understand the many ways it can seriously impair your enjoyment of life. We have a network of multi-disciplinary experts who can help provide the medical evidence needed to obtain the compensation you deserve, as well as experts who can provide recommendations for rehabilitation or the latest in pain management therapy so you have the best chance of recovery.