Making an ICBC Claim
You have been injured in a motor vehicle collision knowing exactly what to do to protect your rights can be confusing and daunting. You know that making an insurance claim is one of the first things you need to do and that you want to tell the truth about what happened.
Unfortunately, in many circumstances meeting with an insurance adjuster for anything more than dealing with property or vehicle damage can be more harmful than helpful to your interests.
Although you want to tell the truth about what happened the insurance adjuster seeks to obtain specific information that assists them in either denying or defending your claim for medical or rehabilitation benefits and for your compensation.
They are not on your side!
An insurance agent is trained to not only obtain information about your claim but also to obtain information that may assist them in protecting the insurance funds. Insurance companies also have vast resources to assist them in protecting their interest in liability disputes.
You or your lawyer can initiate a claim through the phone or online services for initiating a claim. If you have not yet done so our advice is to call us prior to initiating a claim to confirm whether it is in your best interest in the circumstances to present your claim personally.
You are able to make an insurance claim for the damage to your vehicle with the assistance of friend or family or your lawyer. You are also able to initiate a claim for medical/rehabilitation, and Temporary Disability benefits (for up to $1300.00 per month) through an agent or counsel. In other words, you may make a claim for any benefits available concerning a motor vehicle collision through an agent or lawyer.
Almost all claimants are best served by initially speaking with experienced litigation counsel prior to making an ICBC claim. Depending on the circumstances, you may be advised to make a claim by agency (your lawyer) or by making a claim online or by phone.
Only in specific circumstances will you be advised to make a claim by attending an insurer’s claim office or meeting with an insurance claims adjuster in person for the purposes of making statements, signing authorities for release of confidential documents, or signing statements.
If you have made written or verbal statements or signed a release for medical or wage loss information you should immediately contact your lawyer to discuss the potential advantages of revoking such authorizations.
Have you been charged with a Motor Vehicle Act Offence?
If it is alleged that you have broken a rule of driving and you have been charged with a Motor Vehicle Act offence (you have received a ticket). It is most important in these circumstances to obtain legal advice prior to speaking with an insured.
For example, allegations that you failed to yield, or speeding, or driving with undue care and attention, disobeyed traffic control device, driving without proper license or insurance can result in automatic defenses even if you were not at fault for the collision and injury.
A failure to remain to at the scene of an accident or other more serious Motor Vehicle Act or Criminal Code offences can result in automatic defenses to a claim. It is therefore important to obtain legal advice on how personal injury or property claims are presented to preserve your rights and remedies.
You have been involved in a hit and run collision or single vehicle collision. There are specific and very restrictive rules on making claims if you cannot identify the driver or person at fault.
The Law in British Columbia requires that certain things be done by claimants or their representatives to assert such claims, failing which the injured persons claim can be entirely defeated. It is important to have lawyers represent you in these circumstances.