According to statistics recently released by ICBC and reported on CBC News, the number of car crashes has increased dramatically over the past three years, jumping 23% to a total of 320,000 in 2016 alone. This means an average of 875 crashes happened each day in British Columbia.
While safety awareness campaigns and other efforts to curb dangerous driving are a primary focus, the unfortunate reality is that accidents still happen. When they do, injured individuals have the right to seek fair compensation for their injuries and property damage.
For many people, dealing with ICBC and pursuing compensation for injuries and damage to property may be an entirely unfamiliar process. It is essential that you understand the steps you need to take to present a strong claim and secure the compensation that you need.
Keep in mind that you should always consult with an experienced car accident lawyer so that you get knowledgeable counsel about your rights and legal options. If you are looking to pursue compensation following a car accident in British Columbia, the following are necessary steps you need to take.
Step One: Hire a Lawyer
Before you even report the collision, you should retain an experienced car accident lawyer to advise you on your rights, what you should say when reporting the accident, and help you through the claims process.
Step Two: Report the Collision
By law, you are required to report an accident to ICBC if you were the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision or if you were the passenger in a car that was involved in an accident and you were injured as a result of the crash.
ICBC provides two ways to make your report, either online or by phone. You will be connected with a representative who will record the details of where the accident took place, what happened and any injuries that occurred as a result.
You typically will have 30 days to provide a report to ICBC and need to disclose an accident benefit application within 90 days. While you have to report the accident, you don’t have to file a claim with an ICBC claims adjuster.
You should consult with your lawyer on how to file a claim with ICBC and trust your legal team to handle questions sent by the adjuster. ICBC will scrutinize any statements you make to determine how much compensation to award you, so be sure to consult your lawyer on what to say and what not to say after an accident.
Step Three: File for Part 7 Benefits
Most drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists are eligible for no-fault or “Part 7” benefits if they have been hurt in an accident. These benefits are available to anyone, regardless of fault and regardless of whether or not you purchased an Autoplan insurance policy with ICBC.
If you are found to be entirely or largely at fault for the accident, these benefits might make up the majority of the compensation that you will get, so make sure to apply for them as soon as possible, regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding your accident.
Part 7 benefits may provide weekly wage-loss supplements of up to $300, reimbursement for medical bills, and other helpful benefits, up to a total of $150,000. For many people who were not at fault for the collision, these no-fault benefits go a long way toward providing compensation until a personal injury claim is resolved.
Step Four: File a Personal Injury Claim
If you were hurt in an accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another party, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against them. You can take action to recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other financial losses. Typically, the liable party’s insurance provider will be the one who pays for these damages following a successful verdict or settlement.
Contact Klein Lawyers Now for Help With Your Car Accident Claim
Dealing with severe injuries and navigating the often-confusing ICBC claims process can be a nightmare for people who have been hurt in a car accident. At Klein Lawyers, we understand how frustrating and confusing the process can be, so we have made it our mission to help injured people in Vancouver and across B.C. with their claims against ICBC and the parties that caused them harm.
With more than 20 years of experience and over 50 staff members, we have the resources you need on your side to pursue fair compensation for your accident claim. We have won substantial amounts on behalf of our clients and have earned a reputation for excellence inside and outside of the courtroom.
We are prepared to aggressively pursue compensation on your behalf, and we will not rest until you get what you deserve. We have a strong track record of securing fair settlements out of court, but we are not afraid to take your case to court if it is necessary for justice to be served.
When you have been hurt in an accident, don’t try to take on the system alone. Find out why so many other people have entrusted their car accident claims to Klein Lawyers. Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation. Our “No Fee Guarantee” means that if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us anything.