Being involved in a car accident is something we all hope to avoid. In addition to damage to your vehicle, you could end up with serious, potentially life threatening injuries. Making a full recovery depends on getting the care you need, as well as getting reimbursed for the damages you have suffered. In order to do that, you will undoubtedly want to file a claim with ICBC. At Klein Lawyers, LLP, we know that filing an ICBC accident claim can be an intimidating process, and our lawyers are here ready to assist you in the process. When dealing with ICBC, it is important to remember that is in their best interests not to pay your claim, either by denying it outright or by undervaluing the amount of compensation you deserve. And to help you, we have assembled a list of five mistakes to avoid when filing your ICBC claim.
Mistake # 1 Not Getting Medical Attention After An Accident
Anytime you have suffered an injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Even if your injury is minor, have it checked out by your family doctor, and follow their instructions precisely in terms of any follow up care or treatment that is recommended. If you go to a walk in clinic, make sure you see one particular doctor, and go to that same doctor for any follow up visits. Any award of medical or rehabilitative benefits from ICBC will be based largely on your medical records and reports from your doctor. Do not downplay any symptoms, refuse any testing, or rule out any potentially long-term ramifications as the result of your injury.
Mistake #2 Failing to Notify ICBC After Your Accident
You are required to notify ICBC within 24 hours of being involved in an accident. Even if it was a seemingly minor accident, a hit and run, or occurred outside of B.C., still report your claim to ICBC. Be ready when you report to ICBC by having the details of the accident handy. Be prepared to explain when and where the accident happened, the license plate numbers of any vehicles involved, driver’s license numbers for each driver, and your preferred auto body shop. If any drivers were involved who were covered by an insurer other than ICBC, get complete information on the policy.
Mistake #3 Implicating Yourself as Being Partly to Blame for the Accident
When reporting your claim, be sure not to implicate yourself or admit any type of fault for the accident. In determining fault for an ICBC car accident claim, your ICBC claims adjuster will rely on your statement, as well as police reports, witness statements, and accident scene investigations. The adjuster will then make a determination that you were either not at fault, were at fault, or were partially at fault for the accident. If it is determined you were not at fault, the ICBC claims adjuster will then determine the amount of benefits to be awarded. If you were either at fault or even partially at fault, your claim can be reduced or denied, and your monthly premiums may also go up. It is definitely to the advantage of both ICBC and your claims adjuster to determine you were somehow to blame. It saves them money in paying out a claim, while also making them money in terms of increased premiums.
Mistake #4 Signing An ICBC Statement Without Reading It
Any remarks or descriptions you make to ICBC can be considered a statement. Your ICBC claims adjuster will often prepare a formal statement of everything you have told them regarding the accident, and ask you to sign it. Under no circumstances are you compelled to sign anything without first having it looked over by an experienced injury lawyer. If you sign the statement and then realize any part of it is incorrect or inaccurate, ICBC can rightly point to your signature as an endorsement of the statement. Any comments, descriptions, or explanations you have made can be used as a reason to either deny or undervalue your claim. Always take the time to read any documents thoroughly before signing, and protect yourself and your interests by consulting with a lawyer before making any statements.
Mistake #5 Settling Your Case Without A Lawyer
ICBC and your claims adjuster will take the attitude that they are working on your behalf and have your best interests at heart. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. ICBC does not only represent you – they also represent the other driver. The job performance of your claims adjuster will be judged in terms of how well they have succeeded in keeping costs down, both in terms of claims settlements, but also regarding the money spent investigating your claim. You may get the impression that you either do not need a lawyer, or that ICBC is somehow saving you money by eliminating the need for you to get legal representation. Again, this is false. At Klein lawyers, LLP, our experienced injury lawyers will provide a free case review of your claim, and advise you throughout the entire claims process. Before settling your case, call Klein Lawyers to ensure you are getting the benefits you deserve.
Contact a Lawyer if You Have Suffered Injuries After a Car Accident
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and is filing a claim with ICBC, contact our experienced Vancouver car accident lawyers today. At Klein Lawyers, LLP, we will review your claim for free, and help determine if you are getting the benefits you deserve from ICBC. Even minor car accident injuries can have lasting and long-term repercussions, and it is in ICBC’s best interests to deny or undervalue your claim. Our lawyers have experience dealing with ICBC claims adjusters, and will fight to ensure your rights are protected. Serving the entire Vancouver and lower mainland areas, get the help you need by calling Klein Lawyers, LLP at (778) 654-7060 for a free consultation today.