Recovering from a serious car accident is difficult, especially if you are dealing with painful car accident injuries and emotional trauma. But adding to the stress is trying to file a claim with ICBC. There are many things you need to know about your ICBC car accident claim in order to ensure you receive the fairest compensation for your injuries. ICBC has a reputation for being difficult to deal with, but in fact the adjusters are doing what they are required to do, which is to keep the costs of the settlement low. Your task is to make sure that you are properly compensated for your current and prospective costs, injuries and lost wages.
Why you should hire a Vancouver car accident lawyer
The process for dealing with an ICBC car accident claim when there are injuries involved can be long and intense. The ICBC claim process includes interviews, documents, forms and deadlines that need to be dealt with. Ideally, you have hired an experienced ICBC car accident lawyer to act as your advocate and guide through the process while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries. But if you are trying to manage on your own here are some tips to help you:
Get the other driver’s contact information: You have a legal obligation to identify the other driver involved in the accident, so make sure that you don’t skip this step. If you cannot provide that, you may not have a case.
Get medical attention right away: Not all injuries present immediately after an accident (soft-tissue injuries like whiplash are examples of this) but if you suspect that you have any injuries at all, go straight to your family doctor or clinic. ICBC will suggest that your injuries are not very serious if you did not seek medical attention.
Tell the truth: As noted above, ICBC adjusters are experts, focused on keeping costs as low as possible. They will be scrutinizing every detail of your case. If they find that you have lied about or even exaggerated your injuries or the details of your case, there is an excellent chance that everything you say will lack credibility.
Don’t assume that you have to do everything that ICBC tells you to: Dealing with ICBC can be can be intimidating but make sure you know your rights. In fact, you are not required to sign any forms for ICBC, or even meet with ICBC. Your only obligation is to provide a report about the accident. In particular, avoid signing any statements or blanket authorizations that give ICBC access to your medical information – they can use it against you in your claim. Your safest approach is never to deal with ICBC without getting advice from a Vancouver car accident lawyer first.
Don’t accept ICBC’s first settlement offer: ICBC’s job is to settle early and for as little money as possible. Make sure that you are working with an experienced car accident lawyer who can assess your claim and advise you when to settle. Often car accident injuries linger and you will want to ensure you reach maximum recovery before settling with ICBC. Once you sign off on a settlement, there is no opportunity for further compensation if your injuries manifest into some more complicated in the future.
Call Warnett Hallen for help with your ICBC Car Accident Claim
Warnett Hallen has information on what to expect throughout the process of filing a claim with ICBC, but there is no substitution for having an experienced, compassionate lawyer acting on your behalf. Not only do we help with the legal aspects of your ICBC car accident claim, but we will help you obtain the best medical advice and practitioners relevant to your specific injuries. Let us know your story – we’re here to help.
The services of Warnett Hallen LLP, personal injury law firm are available 24/7 at 604-737-3300 or online.
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