When Should I Settle an ICBC Claim?
When you have suffered injuries as the result of a car accident, getting medical care and treatment will be a top priority. However, it also will be highly expensive. At the same time, you may be unable to work due to your injuries.
As a result, like many car accident victims, you may feel a sense of urgency when it comes to seeking compensation through an ICBC settlement. However, rushing to accept an ICBC settlement offer could end up being a major mistake.
Car accident injuries can result in lasting medical problems and permanent disabilities. You want to make sure that any ICBC settlement amounts cover future problems you may encounter as the result of your accident.
Determining the right time to settle an ICBC claim may seem complicated. However, knowing some of the factors our lawyers use to determine proper ICBC settlement amounts may help you to understand the situation better.
Understanding ICBC Claim Settlements
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) provides universal automobile insurance coverage to drivers throughout British Columbia.
Basic autoplan coverage is mandatory for all vehicles in B.C. It provides benefits to you, your family members and any passengers in your vehicle if you are in a car accident – regardless of who is at fault. Additional types of coverage are also available for a cost.
The types of expenses ICBC generally covers include:
- Costs associated with doctor and hospital care in the treatment of your car accident injuries
- Medications your doctor prescribes in treating your injuries
- Any medical equipment you may require such as wheelchairs and crutches
- Rehabilitative costs to help your recover from your injuries, including chiropractic care
- Lost wages as the result of your injuries
- Future losses of income and compensation for disabilities
- Compensation to repair or replace your damaged vehicle.
In the aftermath of your car accident, an ICBC claims adjuster will be assigned to investigate your claim. It is important to remember that ICBC is a business. The less time spent investigating your case, the less administrative costs ICBC incurs. It is simply not practical for ICBC to invest the time necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into your injuries, treatments and potential recovery time.
As a result, while ICBC settlement offers are often made soon after an accident, ICBC settlement amounts may be inadequate when it comes to fully compensating you for damages you have suffered or figuring in any future losses you may incur as the result of your accident.
Understanding Your Car Accident Injuries
Before accepting an ICBC settlement offer, it is important to thoroughly understand the nature and severity of your injuries as well as your prognosis for recovery.
According to KTAR News, it is not uncommon for car accident victims to have delayed symptoms in the aftermath of a car accident – symptoms that could indicate potentially serious problems.
The report states that common symptoms which can occur after a car accident, and the underlying injuries these symptoms may indicate, include:
- Headaches – A common symptom in the days and weeks after an accident, persistent or severe headaches may indicate the presence of a concussion or some other type of serious head or brain injury.
- Neck and shoulder pain – Pain in these areas may indicate whiplash, a potentially serious injury that may require extensive testing to diagnose and may require ongoing tests and treatments.
- Muscle aches and pains – Muscle and tendon sprains, strains and tears are common among car accident victims and may result in lasting disabilities.
- Numbness – Neck and back injuries such as slipped or herniated disks and pulled muscles often result in numbness in the hands and feet. These conditions could result in chronic pain and the need for ongoing treatments.
- Personality changes – Traumatic brain injuries are one of the most common types of car accident injuries. Often, the only clues are subtle changes in a victim’s personality. Increased irritability, moodiness and fits of anger can all indicate a serious and potentially life-threatening problem.
In some cases, treatment and recovery for these conditions may take years, affecting your ability to work or to engage in activities you once enjoyed.
ICBC settlement offers may not calculate ongoing costs associated with these injuries. Unfortunately, once an ICBC claim settlement is accepted, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to get additional compensation through ICBC in the future.
How Our ICBC Claims Lawyers Can Help You
At Klein Lawyers, LLP, our car accident and ICBC lawyers understand the types of injuries that are common in car accidents. We know that recovery from these injuries is often a slow process. We have the staff and resources available to fully investigate your claim in order to determine any future costs which may be associated with your injuries.
We can review any ICBC claim settlement offer you receive and help you to determine if it is the right time in your recovery to accept a settlement as well as advise you on whether any ICBC settlement amounts are adequate in your case.
You are under no obligation to accept any offer that ICBC makes. While you may be in a hurry to settle, it is worth the wait to negotiate the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive for your claim.
Get In Touch with Our ICBC Claims Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact our experienced Vancouver ICBC claims lawyers today.
At Klein Lawyers, LLP, we have the legal knowledge and experience needed in dealing with ICBC claim settlements. Our goal will be to protect your rights and your interests throughout the settlement process.
We serve car accident victims in Vancouver and surrounding areas in British Columbia. Our office is prepared to assist you today.
Simply reach us by phone or through our online contact form to discuss your case in a free consultation. We can review your case and answer any questions you may have about ICBC settlements.
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