When you’ve been in an accident, dealing with ICBC isn’t the smooth, seamless process most people hope it will be. While you’re forced to purchase ICBC insurance, they have all sorts of tricks they can use to try to avoid paying you anything other than the bare minimum.
Yet you need compensation for your collision with a negligent driver. You’ve got medical bills that Medicare won’t cover, dental bills you don’t necessarily have coverage for, and a lot of missed time at work because you were trying to seek treatment or were unable to work because of doctor’s orders.
The best way to make sure you protect yourself is by reaching out to experienced ICBC lawyers who know how to navigate the claims process.
What to Do After a Car Accident
The actions you take directly after the car accident can have a big impact on your case.
First, be careful what you say. Avoid statements like, “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t see them coming.” These can be used to prove you were at fault for the accident.
Second, get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. They may be from a different province so they might not have ICBC. They may also be illegally uninsured. You need to know.
Get the names and numbers of any witnesses.
Get medical attention and never say “I’m fine.” This statement can also be used against you later, to build a case that you are malingering, or exaggerating the extent of your injuries. Never turn down medical coverage, even if you feel fine. Adrenaline can mask a lot of injuries directly after the crash.
Choose and call an ICBC lawyer the moment you are physically capable of doing so.
How “Fault” Impacts Your ICBC Case
The best possible outcome for ICBC is if they can claim both parties were equally at fault for the accident. Then they only have to cover accident benefits: basic medical and rehabilitation benefits up to $300,000. They also have to cover damages to both parties if both parties have ICBC, which is the most likely scenario in a Surrey car crash. They do cover up to $740 a week in wage loss payments.
This a pittance compared to what they must pay to a plaintiff if a defendant was negligent.
If one party was negligent, they have to compensate the other party for far more. That includes pain and suffering, loss of earnings capacity, and medical expenses above the $300,000 limit.
We’re a comparative negligence province, so even if they can’t say you’re 50% at fault they’ll try to increase that percentage by as much as possible. That’s because they can reduce the award amount over your accident benefits by that percentage.
Your optional policies can impact these payments even more.
In addition, if you are more than 25% at fault they will have grounds for increasing your premiums.
Having a lawyer fight for you is the best way to protect yourself.
Why Merchant Law?
We’re experienced ICBC lawyers with a long track record of helping drivers get the compensation they deserve.
Contact us for a free consultation today. Call (604) 609-7777 or visit us at 303 – 304 15127 100th Ave Vancouver, in Surrey.