You’ve been injured in a car accident, and you’re overwhelmed and in shock. We will guide you through the process to ensure you are covered regarding your rights, medical reimbursement and pain and suffering; but here is a very general idea of what to expect when you pursue an injury claim through ICBC.
Within 24 hours of your accident
“Should you hire us to represent you we can file the ICBC claim on your behalf.” Get medical help: You should see your own doctor, go to emergency or a walk-in clinic. At this point, you should also keep all receipts for medical and travel costs, and start to keep a calendar or diary of medical treatments or concerns, specifically for litigation purposes and labeled accordingly, so that you can recall details of your injury and treatments if needed at a later date.
Report the car accident to ICBC: If you’ve been injured you’ll be required to file over the phone instead of online. In this call you’ll be speaking with an adjuster who will ask you for the details of the accident and basic information about yourself, your insurance and the other driver. This information is being recorded and will become part of your file, so be careful about your answers, and don’t admit fault. Shortly after you complete the accident report, ICBC will give you a claim number.
WARNETT HALLEN RECOMMENDATION: As soon as you have been injured in a car accident, ideally prior to reporting your accident to ICBC, call our office for a free consultation at 604-737-3300. We can provide you with a strategy to move your claim forward. Should you hire us to represent you we can file the ICBC claim on your behalf.
Within 30 days of your accident
Follow up meeting with ICBC: You will be asked to meet in person with an ICBC claims adjuster to review the damage to the car, make a statement about the accident and discuss your injuries. However, your lawyer may advise you to have your car assessed by an ICBC-certified repair shop, and then submit signed accident statement and injury statements instead. ICBC will also ask that you give them a blank authorization to collect information about you.
WARNETT HALLEN RECOMMENDATION: If you have already filed a claim with ICBC, it is not too late to hire a personal injury lawyer to review your claim. We always advise our clients not to sign any blank authorization to collect information about you, and our experience allows us to manage the information on your personal and medical history when dealing with an ICBC claim. Once you hire a lawyer you do not have to have any further contact with ICBC.
“Your lawyer will ensure that all timelines are met, and that you are filing appropriately”.You will be required to complete a Part 7 claim (which entitles you to basic medical compensation regardless of who is at fault for the accident), and a tort (negligence) claim if you can prove that someone else was at least partially at fault. You will need to file a tort claim to collect compensation that isn’t covered by Part 7. Both of these claims have specific notice (notification) and limitation (starting a court action) deadlines that must be adhered to.
WARNETT HALLEN RECOMMENDATION: Review any requests by ICBC with a car accident lawyer before you submit any paperwork. Limitation dates vary depending on the location and type of accident and ICBC is not obligated to inform you of any upcoming limitation deadlines. If a limitation deadline is missed it is the law and nothing can be done to submit a claim. Your lawyer will ensure that these timelines are met, and that you are filing appropriately.
Up to two years after your accident
ICBC Settlement Offer: Soon after your initial meeting with ICBC, they will probably extend a settlement offer, as it saves them time and money to do so early on. You are not obligated to accept this offer if you feel that it doesn’t meet your needs. However, if you do accept the settlement, you will be asked to sign a Release that effectively ends your claim against ICBC.
WARNETT HALLEN RECOMMENDATION: Knowing the optimum time to settle with ICBC is difficult and complicated. We will use our expertise and in-depth knowledge of your file to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of accepting ICBC’s offer throughout the process.
“Filing in court does not take away your ability to continue negotiating a settlement with ICBC.”If you have not reached an agreement with ICBC, and you are approaching the two year mark, you will need to file a lawsuit so that you meet the limitations deadline and retain your option to address your claim in court. As you lead up to trial, you will go through discovery (the exchange of documents and information, done outside of a courtroom) and possibly mediation (continued negotiation of the claim between both parties, led by a mediator). Filing in court does not take away your ability to continue negotiating a settlement with ICBC, which can continue right up to the trial and even while the trial, is underway.
WARNETT HALLEN RECOMMENDATION: It is rare for a personal injury case to end up in court, but should your case need to go to trial, our lawyers have extensive experience, and will make sure that you are well-prepared, supported, and ultimately in a position to settle for more.
Vancouver Car Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a car accident because of a careless driver, the personal injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP, rated by Georgia Straight readers as the “best lawyer to call when an accident strikes” are here to help. Contact the Vancouver car accident lawyers at Warnett Hallen. We can assess your situation, guide you through an injury claim and help you settle for more.
The car accident lawyers at Warnett Hallen never defend ICBC or the insurance companies. We represent injured claimants only.
Warnett Hallen LLP. Settle for more.
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