Why Choose Zak and Decker?

Our Personal Injury Law Team

Joseph A. Zak

Profile Image of Joseph A. Zak

Joseph A. Zak

Lawyer | Year of Call - 1980

Joseph grew up in southern B.C. in Boundary Country and attended the University of British Columbia graduating with a combined degree in commerce and law. He moved to Kamloops to begin his legal career and has remained in the city ever since. His practice is focused on helping clients who are suffering personal injuries or loss through motor vehicle collisions, slip and fall accidents, and faulty or defective products. Joseph represents many clients throughout BC and Alberta who have been denied coverage by their insurance companies. Incorporating mediations and settlement conferences are a routine part of what he does to advance the interests of his clients. He believes strongly in the principals of seeking fair justice for those who have been injured or wronged by the negligence of others.

Education
  • Bachelor of Law – University of British Columbia (1979)
  • Bachelor of Commerce – University of British Columbia (1978)
Professional Associations
  • Law Society of British Columbia – Unauthorized Practice Committee
  • CBA National Insurance Law Section - Past Chair
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia - Board of Governors
  • Kamloops Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
Volunteer Activities
  • St. Ann’s Academy Advisory Board - Past Chair
  • Kamloops Brain Injury Association - Member
  • TLABC Kamloops Roundtable Conference - Chair
  • Northern Brain Injury Conference - Presenter

Tara J. Decker

Profile Image of Tara J. Decker

Tara J. Decker

Lawyer | Year of Call - 1997

Tara was born and raised in a farming community in Saskatchewan and moved to British Columbia to attend law school. While at the University of British Columbia she met her husband and, following graduation, returned with him to his home town of Kamloops. Tara articled with HMZ Law (now Zak & Decker Personal Injury Lawyers) where she continues to practice and is a managing partner. Her areas of practice include insurance litigation, personal injury law, and estate law. Always interested in sharing her specialized knowledge with others, she has been a guest lecturer at Thompson Rivers University’s Faculty of Law and has presented talks to the Canadian Defence Lawyers, brain injury organizations, and medical residents over the years.

Education
  • Bachelor of Law, UBC (1996)
  • Bachelor of Arts, with honours – University of Saskatchewan (1993)
Professional Associations
  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Kamloops Bar Association
  • Canadian Defence Lawyers
  • Defence Research Institute (U.S.)
Volunteer Activities
  • Interior Health Authority West – Clinical Ethics Committee
  • Girl Guides of Canada: Deputy Provincial Commissioner
  • United Way: Women Leadership Council - Board of Directors
  • Kamloops Brain Injury Association – Board of Directors

Kelsey O'Bray

Profile Image of Kelsey O'Bray

Kelsey O'Bray

Lawyer | Year of Call – 2010

After obtaining her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Victoria, Kelsey completed her articles at a large firm in Vancouver, gaining experience in complex commercial and insurance litigation matters. She returned to her home town of Kamloops to practice commercial and insurance litigation at a small, local firm. In 2014, she joined Zak & Decker (formerly HMZ Law) to shift her practice solely to personal injury litigation. Kelsey has represented clients in a variety of civil matters in both the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Provincial Court of British Columbia and Alberta. Her practice is largely focused on helping clients with personal injuries as a result of motor vehicle collisions and slip and falls, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve. In her free time Kelsey is an active member of the Women Lawyers Forum and Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and enjoys skiing and travel.

Education
  • Juris Doctor – University of Victoria (2009)
  • Bachelor of Arts – University of Victoria (2005)
Professional Associations
  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Kamloops Bar Association
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
Volunteer Activities
  • Kamloops Women Lawyers Forum - Executive member
  • Kamloops Inns of Court Program - Committee member

Merv L. Sadden

Profile Image of Merv L. Sadden

Merv L. Sadden

Lawyer | Year of Call – 1990

Merv is new to our firm but not to our city. For the past 27 years Merv has dedicated his career to representing individuals throughout BC and Alberta who have sustained injury at the fault of others. The majority of his clients come to him as a result of being injured in motor vehicle accidents. As a motorcycle rider and enthusiast, he has a particular interest representing those who become injured while riding. His niche practice representing injured riders is rooted in his dual passions for riding and his 27 years of advocating for the injured. Merv has established a practice and a reputation of preparing each case from day one as if it is bound for trial. His “no short cuts” approach ensures that each case will be well prepared for trial if a reasonable settlement is not possible. Merv is a regular speaker and author of informative articles designed to educate the public about their rights should they become injured. He also speaks at motorcycle safety training courses for new riders. Away from the office Merv can be found exploring the many back roads of our province on his dual sport motorcycle.

Education
  • Bachelor of Laws – University of Saskatchewan (1989)
  • Bachelor of Arts – University of Saskatchewan (1989)
Professional Associations
  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Law Society of Saskatchewan (non-practicing)
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Kamloops Bar Association
  • Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
Learn More About Merv Sadden

Tracey Greer

Profile Image of Tracey Greer

Tracey Greer

Articling Student | Anticipated Year of Call - 2017

Tracey grew up in Cranbrook and attended the University of British Columbia where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a Double Major in history and Canadian studies before moving to Kamloops where she achieved her Juris Doctor at Thompson Rivers University. Her academic background of Canadian studies and politics fueled her desire to pursue a career in law to advocate for people who need legal assistance. Articling at Zak & Decker Personal Injury Lawyers has presented Tracey the opportunity to learn from the skilled and experienced counsel of the law team. She is a member of both the Law Society of British Columbia and the Kamloops Bar Association and, when not delving into legal work, she volunteers and enjoys swimming, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Education
  • Juris Doctor – Thompson Rivers University (2016)
  • Bachelor of Arts – University of British Columbia (2013)
Professional Associations
  • Law Society of British Columbia
  • Kamloops Bar Association
Volunteer Activities
  • Kamloops Big Brothers and Sisters - Traditional Mentor

Injuries and Damages

All cases are unique and not all injuries are immediately apparent. We work with experienced medical experts to establish the extent of the injuries—both physical and psychological. We also determine the impact that the car accident has had (and may continue to have) on your family's livelihood, lifestyle, and well-being. When these parameters are defined, a fair settlement can be negotiated.

ICBC Claim Tips

Beware of Early Settlement Offers

ICBC Claim Tips

Beware of Early Settlement Offers

ICBC Claim Tips

It's common for an insurance company to offer you a quick settlement after a serious injury. It is not advised to accept this settlement, as it is difficult to appreciate the extent that the injury will impact future livelihood and lifestyle in the future. If you accept this settlement, you will lose your right to receive additional money, even if it is established that you may be entitled to more.

Contact a Lawyer First

ICBC Claim Tips

Contact a Lawyer before speaking to ICBC

ICBC Claim Tips

You will be contacted by ICBC for a personal or signed statement regarding your car accident. Without the advice or presence of a personal injury lawyer, you could say something in the statement which will negatively affect your case.

Document and Protect Evidence

ICBC Claim Tips

Document and Protect Evidence

ICBC Claim Tips

All details of the car accident need to be documented and witnesses need to be promptly interviewed. Key details include weather, driving conditions, and time of day. Take photographs of the vehicles and all damages including skid marks, road signs, and lights. A copy of the police report is also beneficial.