Most people driving in Victoria will have ICBC auto insurance, as it’s the mandatory government-owned insurance policy all BC residents are required to purchase. Yet this doesn’t mean getting compensation after your car accident will be easy.
Like any insurance company, ICBC tries to keep its expenses low. This means the goal of the insurance company is to pay accident victims as little as possible. If your injuries are likely to cost more than what’s covered by basic accident benefits you’ll need help from a seasoned ICBC lawyer.
Merchant Law can provide this help, and can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Steps to Take After a Victoria Car Accident
The strength of your case will depend, in part, on the steps you take directly after your automobile accident.
- Always move your vehicle to a safe location and call the police.
- Be careful what you say. Don’t say “I’m sorry.” Don’t say “I’m fine.” Don’t volunteer information. Answer only the questions asked by police and be careful with your answers. The statements you make on the scene can be used against you later.
- Get the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Just because you are both likely to have ICBC doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do this. You’ll need the driver’s policy number.
- Get the names and numbers of any witnesses.
- Take photographs of the scene.
- Get medical attention, even if you feel okay. Adrenaline often masks serious injuries. Follow all medical instructions.
- Retain an ICBC lawyer as soon as you’re medically able to do so. Try to do this before speaking to any representatives from the insurance company, as they will try to prompt you to make statements which could hurt your case later.
Some accident victims don’t call us until months have passed. We have worked around this limitation before. We’ve also helped victims who were too injured to take most of these steps after their accident. As long as the limitations period hasn’t expired there’s no harm in contacting us to find out if you have a case.
How ICBC Will Build Its Case
ICBC pays you less money when you’re at-fault, so will try to build a case that you were at least 50% responsible for the accident. If they insure both drivers, they benefit the most if they can state that both drivers were more or less equally at fault.
They also pay less if they can prove you failed to “mitigate your loss.” This is one reason why it’s so important to get immediate medical attention, as doing so is a form of loss mitigation.
You need lawyers who will carefully examine the facts of the case and who will build a strong argument that gets you paid.
Why Merchant Law?
Our lawyers are experts at dealing with ICBC. We have a long track record of helping clients just like you.
It’s easy to get started. Contact us for a free consultation today. Just call (250) 385-7777 or visit our offices at: 810 Humboldt St, Suite A02, Victoria, BC V8V 5B1, Canada.