Have you been injured in an auto accident in British Columbia? If so, you're about to find out that dealing with ICBC isn't any easier than dealing with a private insurance plan. The goal is the same: to pay you as little as possible.
Yet if the other driver was negligent you deserve compensation to cover your pain and suffering, loss of earnings and earning capacity, and medical bills.
Protect yourself by hiring an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle ICBC claims.
Protect Yourself After Your Car Accident
How you conduct yourself directly after the accident will have a huge impact on your case.
Start by getting the driver's contact information and insurance information. Move on to gathering the information from any witnesses on the scene. Call the police and find out what you need to do to obtain a copy of the police report.
Be careful what you say to everyone who is there. Your words really can be used against you. For example, there's a human impulse to say "Sorry," but if you do that could be taken as a sign that you're admitting fault. Keep your cool: yelling and screaming at the other driver doesn't help your case either.
Take photos if you can.
When the police ask you for information give the bare-bones facts as you know them. Do not volunteer any information. If you're not entirely sure what happened you can say "it all happened very quickly, I'm not sure."
Finally, get medical attention. Again, watch what you say here. Some people try to act tough, saying "I'm fine" or "I'm not really that hurt." This can come back to bite them later when their injuries turn out to be severe or even life-altering. Claiming you're seriously injured after claiming you're fine usually looks like you're inflating your harm for money.
Instead, just quietly get medical care and follow all of your doctor's instructions to the letter.
As soon as you're physically capable of doing so, you should choose and retain a personal injury lawyer. Do this before you call the insurance company. Ideally, your lawyer will call ICBC for you to inform them of the accident and to file your claim. This prevents ICBC representatives from trying to lead you into saying things which could harm you.
It also lets a lawyer review your case before examining any offers. Most early offers are too low to cover a driver's expenses after an accident.
How the Determination of Fault Impacts Your Case
If ICBC determines you are "at-fault" then you will only be paid basic medical and rehabilitation benefits up to $300,000, as well as $740 a week in wage loss payments. You won't be able to recover for damages above the $300,000, nor will you be able to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. You also won't receive compensation for any loss of earning capacity.
ICBC will be working hard to prove you were at least 50% negligent. They may also try to prove you failed to mitigate your losses after the accident. All of this reduces the amount they'll ultimately have to pay.
Hiring a lawyer is the best way to protect yourself and your interests in the aftermath of the accident.
Why Merchant Law?
When you work with Merchant Law you're working with some of Canada's toughest litigators. Our lawyers are experienced with the ins and outs of ICBC accident law, and have the best chance at securing a good outcome for your case.
Get started today by scheduling a free consultation. Call (604) 535-7777 or visit our office at 6337 198 St. #101, Langley City, BC.