Our lawyers have been representing spinal cord injured and brain injured clients for over 30 years and have extensive knowledge of SCI-related medical and legal issues. We do everything possible to ensure our spinal cord injured clients receive what they need for their best possible future. We are one of BC’s largest groups of Personal Injury lawyers for a reason – we care deeply about the injured clients we represent and we achieve outstanding results. Our goal is to help you maintain your dignity, while we work hard to build a strong case on your behalf.
We have helped many injured clients in becoming financially secure through the resolution of their legal claim by way of settlement or through the courts, including multi-million dollar awards for those with greater need for support and resources.
Over the past thirty years, we have fostered relationships with medical practitioners and specialists in diagnostic, prognostic and rehabilitative medicine. Our ability to access top medical specialists enables us to optimize the value of your claim, ensure it is not undervalued by the insurer, and build a strong case for your current and long-term needs, physically, financially and emotionally.
We do not do any work for insurance companies; we only represent plaintiffs. The insurance companies we deal with are well aware of our stellar reputation in court and they know we prepare every case as if it was going to trial – because we are always prepared to go to trial. We leverage our history of outstanding trial results and our reputation for trial readiness to obtain optimal compensation for you. In fact, insurance adjusters often hire us for themselves, their friends and their children. We have also advised a government body, the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia, on the suitability of Personal Injury settlements they plan to offer.
Hammerberg Lawyers can step in to help at any point, even if you already have a claim in process. Our reputation and history of success in achieving optimal outcomes for our clients – both in and out of the courtroom – have led to other lawyers in the province routinely referring their spinal cord injured clients to us.
We deal with insurance companies, cut through red tape, secure income replacement and benefits, and arrange for the medical care and therapy you need to heal. We free you up to focus on your recovery while we work to ensure the best possible outcome for your future.
Our lawyers and staff genuinely want to make a positive difference in the lives of our spinal cord injured clients. We are informal, relaxed and empathetic in our approach to client care, yet formidable litigators in a courtroom.
Our role is to be your advocate and to be involved at every step of your progress, including coordinating access to medical equipment, occupational therapists, and programs to promote your financial, social, physical and emotional well-being. We will participate in team meetings at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre to investigate all possible medical rehab opportunities, and we secure healthcare resources to optimize your safety and comfort during transition from hospital to rehabilitation facilities to home. If we are unable to obtain insurance-funded resources, we have the financial resources to assist with the funding of those needs privately.
Your lawyer plays a key role during the early days of your recovery as you move through rehabilitation and eventually home again. During these transitions, we advocate for your support. MSP does not necessarily cover all the resources you need. Nor does an insurance company, even in circumstances in which they appear to be legally obligated to. We intend to be your first resource to achieve better quality of life during recovery. We can hire Occupational Therapists to do a full analysis of your requirements and ensure that their recommendations have been met, including getting quotes for the architectural modifications you need in your home so that it contains all adaptations necessary for you to safely and comfortably optimize your independence.
In British Columbia, you have two years from the date of the accident to commence legal proceedings, or your claim will be barred.
Injuries, and their resulting effects on work, social and recreational activities, can worsen over time – it’s important to know your rights and the strict time limits that apply.
Hammerberg’s spinal cord injury lawyers represent you on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay legal fees until your claim is resolved positively.
You do not have to live nearby to access our services. Our lawyers can travel to you from the outset. We offer a free no-obligation in person meeting before you hire us so you can best determine what we can offer you. We put your needs first and will meet with you, your family and your doctors, as needed.
Every member of society is required to act responsibly and to do their best to avoid putting others at risk. Personal Injury law is based on the principle of accountability for negligence. It is a basic right in tort law for someone injured by the negligent act of another to be put in the position they would have been in if the negligent act had not occurred, as best as financial compensation can achieve.
If you are injured by the negligence of another party, there is usually an insurance policy in place to be accessed by you. Whether you decide to pursue your rights to the maximum of your entitlement with the help of a lawyer or not, that does not change the fact that this liability is carried by the insurance company. You are not adding to the burden of the at fault party by pursuing your rights, you are simply compelling the insurer to live up to their financial liability which stems from a contract of insurance that their customers have been paying into, often for decades.
When considering motor-vehicle accidents, for example, there is almost always some form of property damage and an insurance claim will have to be made. This is what accident insurance is for. However, the insurance companies are not on your side and they have their own legal representation.
Negotiating with insurance companies on your own is risky. When you deal directly with an insurance company, your goals and theirs are at odds. Their agent’s job is to settle claims with as little cost as possible – and they are good at it. They may seem kind and sympathize with you, but the reality is that their goal is to earn a profit for their employer. They need to collect premiums and pay out few claims to earn their profit. Without a lawyer investigating events and preparing your case as if it is going to trial, it is unlikely that you will receive appropriate and fair compensation.
Spinal cord injuries often occur in motor vehicle, motorcycle and cycling accidents. When negligent driving causes a spinal cord injury, insurance will likely not cover all the costs of your treatment, rehabilitation, therapy, medical and mobility equipment and lost wages that you incur, so it is your legal right, and in your best interests to engage a lawyer to advocate on your behalf to recover the shortfall.
A spinal cord injury can occur due to the negligence of another party in circumstances other than a motor vehicle accident. For example, the incident may occur on someone’s premises due to a fall. In these circumstances, the owner or occupier has failed in their duty of care to ensure the safety of their visitors on their property. If a visitor suffers injuries as a result, the injured person may have grounds for an Occupier’s Liability claim against the negligent owner or occupier.
Some examples of Occupier’s Liability claims include falls due to defective structures (such as handrails or balconies), slip and falls on slippery surfaces, trips over uneven flooring, and trips or falls due to poor lighting. The owner and occupier of the property likely have an insurance contract to cover this risk, and in starting a claim, you would be accessing the financial liability of their insurance company under said contract.
By starting a claim in Occupier’s Liability cases, you are not only addressing the outcome of your own accident, but potentially protecting others from the same experience as the at fault person or company, in being found liable, will likely change their premises, practices or processes going forward.
When you purchase a product, you have consumer rights, which include the right to expect the product to be reasonably safe when being used as directed. Appliances, machinery, cars and children’s toys could fail to perform safely and have devastating consequences. In such circumstances, claims may be made against the manufacturer of the faulty item for compensation of injuries. Similar to Occupier’s Liability claims, product liability claims hold the manufacturer accountable for the faulty products they are selling, and your claim may prevent further injuries.
If a spinal cord injury occurs as a result of medical error, a physician or other medical practitioner may have failed to meet the standards of practice and the duty of care expected of them by their regulating boards. Medical malpractice claims require expert evidence, presented effectively in court, to support these claims.