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ICBC Lawyer Vancouver

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    ICBC is a provincial crown corporation that initially began as a non-profit corporation but became Canada’s only for-profit public auto insurance company. While private insurers compete for many kinds of optional coverage, ICBC essentially maintains a monopoly on automobile insurance in the Vancouver area.

    Accident cases can be complicated when they involve vehicles registered outside British Columbia. Victims will want to be sure to get the names of the driver’s insurance company in such cases.

    The important thing to keep in mind about ICBC is that it is an insurance company, and its primary concern is not what might be in your best interest. Instead, the only commitment ICBC has is to its bottom line. This usually means that it wants to settle cases for the lowest possible amount, and the corporation will frequently go to great lengths to accomplish this goal.

    Do you need assistance filing an ICBC claim in Vancouver or a surrounding area of BC? It will be essential for you to hire a legal team with experience in dealing with ICBC to give your claim the best possible chance at success.

    Warnett Hallen LLP icbc lawyer vancouver works on behalf of injury victims and on never on behalf of ICBC. Our firm can examine your case during a free consultation as soon as you call us or contact us online.

    Understanding ICBC Settlement Claims

    Dealing with ICBC can be tricky, and you need to proceed with caution at every step. It is always in your best interest to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours of your accident. Your lawyer can help you in any dealings with ICBC.

    Many settlements will be helped by steps you can take at the accident scene. For example, taking pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, as well as collecting the names and phone numbers of all people who witnessed your accident could help if there is a dispute about your claim.

    Avoid writing or posting any photos about your accident on social media. Even if you delete them later, insurance companies may have already secured screenshots of posts with damaging information that could be used against you.

    Make sure that you are honest with a lawyer about your health. Do not exaggerate the nature of your injuries or attempt to hide any pre-existing injuries. Dishonest claims will be exposed later and can ultimately lead to you recovering nothing for your injuries.

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    ICBC FAQs

    What does my personal injury claim compensation include?

    • Pain and suffering 
    • Loss of earnings, past, and future
    • Care costs 
    • Housekeeping and homemaking services
    • Compensation for family members affected by your injuries

    Do I have to hire an ICBC Lawyer?

    Dealing with ICBC can be tricky, and you need to proceed with caution at every step.

    That’s where an ICBC lawyer in Vancouver can provide the all-important support for your claim to give it the best chance of success.

    What is a Fair Accident Settlement?

    An appropriate settlement amount is usually enough to cover the cost of your medical expenses, lost pay, anticipated future costs, pain and suffering, and any other losses you have sustained because of the wreck.

    Is there a time limit for ICBC claims?

    A car accident should be reported to police and ICBC right away (with 24 hours is ideal). If you are injured in an accident, you must also provide a statement within 30 days of the accident and complete an ICBC claim form within 90 days of the accident.

    Does ICBC Have to Pay Me Additional If I Retain a Lawyer?

    ICBC is required to pay a contribution to your legal fees, which means ICBC will pay some but not all of your legal fees, usually approximately 40-50 percent.

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    ICBC Settlement Process

    After an accident, you need to take certain steps within certain time frames. The ICBC settlement process usually begins with the need for a victim to take several steps within the first 24 hours of an accident.

    Section 97 of the Insurance Vehicle Regulation under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act establishes that notice of the accident must be provided to ICBC within 30 days to file a claim for no-fault benefits or Part VII benefits.

    Your first step should always be to seek medical care, even if you do not initially think that you were hurt. You will also need to report your accident to ICBC, but remember that this conversation will be recorded. Your initial report to ICBC will require you to provide the date, time, and location of the accident, your vehicle license plate number and registration, the names, driver’s license numbers, and vehicle details of all other parties involved in the accident, how the accident happened, injury details, witness information, and a police file number if police were notified.

    When you contact Warnett Hallen, LLP, we can file your ICBC claim on your behalf. Within 30 days of your accident, ICBC will want you to meet in person with a claims adjuster to review the damage to your vehicle, make a recorded statement about your accident, and discuss your injuries.

    You may be able to have your car assessed by an ICBC-certified repair shop and submit a signed accident statement and injury statements instead of meeting with the claims adjuster. ICBC will ask that you provide a blank authorization to collect information about you, but our lawyers can help manage the information you share when dealing with ICBC.

    You will need to file a claim for Part VII benefits for basic medical expenses regardless of fault and a tort claim when another party was at least partially at fault. Both types of claims have specific notification and limitation deadlines, neither of which ICBC will inform you of. Failure to submit a claim on time can result in an inability to hold the negligent party legally liable.

    You will have two years to decide whether to accept a proposed ICBC settlement. When a settlement cannot be achieved, you may need to file a lawsuit within the two-year window.

    Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for an ICBC Claim

    The fact that ICBC covers so much of the market in British Columbia means that they usually have an inherent conflict of interest in handling most claims since they inevitably cover both drivers involved. ICBC will base its settlement offers on sets of guidelines that are not designed to award maximum compensation but instead minimize ICBC’s losses.

    An ICBC claims adjuster will conduct their own investigation into your accident, and you could be denied compensation and face increased insurance premiums when ICBC determines you were at fault. You can dispute the decision through a hearing with an independent arbiter or you can file a small claims or Supreme Court lawsuit.

    Other options you can also try when you are dissatisfied with an ICBC decision include speaking to a manager or supervisor at ICBC who may be able to launch a complaint through the corporation’s Fair Practices Review. Some people may be able to request reviews by the Fairness Commissioner.

    You can try handling your ICBC claim on your own, but ICBC is under no obligation to explain the law to you. This frequently works to the disadvantage of claimants who are unaware of important deadlines applicable to their cases.

    You should hire a lawyer because they will be able to conduct an independent investigation that provides an unbiased evaluation of what truly caused your accident. The lawyer will know how to identify all liable parties and secure the evidence needed to prove their negligence.

    A lawyer will also be aware of the important filing deadlines, and they will ensure that you do not miss any of them. Warnett Hallen LLP can also assist you with treatment costs by arranging an agreement with a treatment provider to defer costs or assisting in another way.

    We know how to negotiate settlements with ICBC and have years of experience dealing with these types of claims. Our firm will be able to accurately gauge the true value of your claim and then fight to help you obtain maximum compensation.

    ICBC Compensation

    ICBC settlement amounts are based on a number of different factors. Some of the factors that could affect your proposed settlement may include:

    • Severity of victim’s injuries
    • Expected duration of victim’s injuries
    • Victim’s occupation and impact on ability to return to work
    • Victim’s role in mitigating damages
    • Victim’s liability
    • Victim’s age
    • Victim’s pre-existing conditions
    • Victim’s need for future care

    Other important factors that could impact your settlement also include whether you have legal counsel. Claimants without a lawyer frequently receive settlements that are much less than those who hire one.

    The point at which your ICBC claim is settled can also play an important role, as ICBC can be more inclined to settle when there is an increased risk of a lawsuit.

    When a lawsuit is filed, a person could be awarded different kinds of damages that may include:

    • General or non-pecuniary damages
    • Psychological injury or nervous shock damages
    • Future expenses and losses
    • Past expenses and losses
    • Loss of income and earning capacity
    • Loss of housekeeping capacity
    • Past cost of care claims
    • Future care costs
    • Loss of pension income
    • Dependents’ claims under Family Law Act
    • Aggravated and punitive damages

    It is important to note that aggravated or punitive damages are relatively rare, as they are limited to cases in which a jury wants to punish a defendant for particularly malicious or reprehensive conduct.

    Common Injuries in ICBC Claims

    An ICBC claim could involve any one of a number of possible injuries. The severity of injuries can also vary, with some people facing shorter periods of recovery than others who may require entire lifetimes of care.

    Some of the most common kinds of injuries involved in ICBC claims include:

    • Herniated discs
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Internal organ injuries
    • Fractures (broken bones)
    • Muscle strains
    • Nerve damage

    The passage of Bill 20 and Bill 22 in May 2018 made it law such that as of April 1, 2019, a limitation or cap of $5,500 has been placed on nonpecuniary damages (non-quantifiable damages) if ICBC deems an injury to be a “minor injury.” Bill 20 defined a minor injury as an injury that results in no permanent serious disfigurement and physical or mental impairments are resolved within 12 months of the accident.

    Any dispute with ICBC about the severity of injuries will require a hearing before the British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), which was introduced by the Ministry of Justice. The CRT also has a cap of $50,000 on total damages in ICBC claims.

    If a claimant can successfully argue that their injury is not minor, then the $5,500 cap is no longer applicable, although the $50,000 cap on total damages remains in effect. The only way to collect compensation is to take the case to court, but the CRT would have to allow that to happen.

    Lawyer Fees in ICBC Claims

    Warnett Hallen LLP understands the financial stress and strain that individuals and families often feel in the aftermath of a severe injury accident. We believe that everyone is entitled to qualified legal assistance when dealing with ICBC.

    That’s why our firm provides legal representation on a contingency fee basis so you will not have to worry about paying anything up front, and we won’t collect any fees until your ICBC or other insurance claim has been settled.

    The fee percentages at Warnett Hallen LLP are in compliance with the rules of the Law Society of British Columbia. You will be fully informed of all applicable fees when you sign a retainer or agreement with us.

    Talk to a Vancouver ICBC Claim Lawyer Today

    If you are preparing to file an ICBC claim in the greater Vancouver area, you do not have to deal with all of the struggles by yourself. Warnett Hallen LLP can not only ensure that your claims are properly completed and filed on time, but will also give you the best chance at recovering maximum compensation.

    Manjot Hallen has handled more than 1,000 cases and is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, and South Asian Bar Association. Paul Warnett has handled cases before the Provincial and Supreme Courts of British Columbia as well as the Court of Appeal of British Columbia and is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Bar Association.

    Our experienced Vancouver ICBC lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and help you get the maximum amount of compensation for your ICBC claim. Call us or contact us online now to take advantage of a free consultation.

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