We all hope to be safe on the roads and avoid accidents. But, accidents are just that, they happen when you least expect it. The results could be serious to life-threatening injuries or major damage to your car. Getting back on track means getting the medical attention needed as well as being compensated for the resulting damages. To do that, filing a claim with ICBC is needed.
But filing an ICBC claim can be challenging if not intimidating. It is for this reason that you’re always advised to get an attorney that is familiar with the process to help you. Dealing with ICBC is a challenge for inexperienced negotiators as it is in their best interest to offer you a raw deal or deny your claims.
From experience, we have assembled 5 of the most common mistakes that people make when filing ICBC claims.
Not Getting Medical Attention Immediately
If you are ever involved in an accident that results in any injuries, make sure you seek medical attention as soon as possible. The injury might be minor but still, make sure you have it checked by medical experts and have the treatment and follow-up care needed. And, make sure you consult one doctor and stick with the same doctor for all the visits recommended.
Simply put, medical claims and rehabilitative benefits paid by ICBC depend on the medical reports and records from a medical expert. Remember, downplaying any symptoms will have you settling for less. Take every test to determine any potential short and long-term impacts of the injury.
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Not Notifying ICBC
The law requires that ICBC should be notified of the accident within 24 hours. It might be a minor accident or even occurred outside British Columbia, still make sure you notify ICBC within the set limit. Details are important when reporting to the ICBC. Some of the details you need:
- Where did the accident happen?
- What are the registration numbers of the cars involved?
- Do you have the license numbers of the involved drivers?
- If the driver involved wasn’t covered by ICBC but by another insurer, do you have their policy information?
Every detail of the case is important in ensuring your claim process is smoother.
Taking Blame and Implicating Yourself
While giving all the details to the ICBC is important, be careful not to admit fault or implicate yourself. The ICBC adjuster will rely on your statement, witness statements, police reports, and official investigations. You don’t want your statement being used against you when it comes to determining the fault for ICBC claims. The adjuster decides on who is at fault and if you’re not, they determine the compensation to be awarded.
If it is found you were even partially at fault, your compensation is significantly reduced or worse, denied. Also, your premiums are more likely to go up after.
Remember, ICBC and the adjuster will use every trick in the book to save money and seek to increase your premiums, even if it means twisting your statement against you. Be careful with every detail you present. Getting an experienced attorney will help with your icbc settlements and ensure your statement doesn’t implicate you. And, ensure you’re rightfully compensated.
Signing ICBC Documents before Understanding Them
All the details and remarks provided to the ICBC are considered as official statements. From the remarks, the ICBC adjuster will prepare a formal document and require you to sign it. In no circumstances should you sign the statement before it is first examined by an experienced accident attorney. Remember, once you sign, any inaccurate information present in the document will work against you. And your signature serves as an endorsement of the ICBC statement.
Take time to read the fine print and do it thoroughly. Consult with a lawyer before signing it to make sure your best interests are protected.
Negotiating Your Case Without an Attorney
The ICBC claims adjuster might give you the impression they have your best interests at heart and are fighting for you. Sadly, this isn’t the case. ICBC doesn’t fight for you, they represent the other driver. And, the adjuster is judged by how hard he fights in keeping the claim costs down.
It is easy to get the impression that ICBC is saving you some dollars by eliminating the need for a lawyer. Again, this is simply not true. Be sure to consult experienced injury lawyers to guide and advise you through the claim process. And, they make sure you get a fair settlement.
An attorney had the experience and deep knowledge of the claims process and will ensure nothing slips through the cracks in the claims process. They have in-depth knowledge of the process and will use it to fight for you. Consult one immediately in case of an accident.