Most Common Mistakes in an Auto Accident Case
Mistake #1 – Failure to get enough information at the accident scene.
When you are in an accident, it is very important that you get the contact information of all other drivers involved and of any witnesses. Obviously, if you are incapacitated or you are on a stretcher you can’t do that, but if you are able to, you need to make sure you get this information. If you don’t, there is a risk that the other drivers will not be identified and you will not be able to claim against them. The law requires you to take all reasonable efforts to identify all people involved. This is not just for hit and run cases, but with any auto accident. Taking pictures at the scene is also a very good idea. If you have access to a cell phone with a camera, which most people do, take pictures of the scene and of the damaged vehicles. If you or anyone else is injured, the police and ambulance should be called.
Mistake #2 – Providing too much information to ICBC when reporting your claim.
When you report to ICBC you can expect to be asked a lot of questions and to provide a statement. Everything you say will be documented. This is because you are making a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy and the ICBC adjuster has a duty to defend that driver against any claims, including yours. The adjuster will likely ask for as much information as possible in order to look for something which can be used to discredit you or to undermine your case. Remember that the adjuster is not on your side. The adjuster will also ask you to provide a blanket authorization so he can order all your medical and employment records. Not all of this information may be relevant to your claim so there is no need for ICBC to have it.
Mistake #3 – Negotiating with ICBC without a lawyer.
The insurance adjuster’s job is to settle your claim as cheaply and as quickly as possible. Often an offer will be presented within days or weeks of you making the claim even though you are still in treatment or not fully recovered. Most people are only involved in a serious car crash once in their lives. They don’t know what constitutes a fair offer or that it may take many weeks or months to fully recover. Until recovery has been reached, it will be difficult for anyone to know what is or is not fair. In some cases, the adjuster will use the negotiation discussions with the claimant as a “fishing expedition” to gather even more information. An experienced lawyer will know when to settle and how to negotiate a fair settlement.
Mistake #4 – Missing critical limitation dates.
As discussed above, if a limitation date is missed the right to claim may be lost. The ICBC adjuster has no obligation to inform you of limitation dates; he is on the side of the other motorist. If your case is in the hands of one of the lawyers at Klein Lawyers this will not be an issue for you to worry about.
The legal team at Klein Lawyers, LLP, has two decades of experience helping injured people in Vancouver and across British Columbia with ICBC accident claims. We’re ready to help you. Call us, chat with us live on our website, or fill out our contact form to get started on your case today.