To say that a car accident can be an emotionally harrowing experience is something of an understatement. After the accident itself has occurred and you’ve made sure that everyone involved has received any necessary medical treatment, there are still a number of important steps that need to come next.
When you’re overcome with emotions and are understandably overwhelmed in the heat of the moment, answers to questions like “do I need to report a car accident to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia?” are definitely not your primary concern. However, knowing what to do immediately following your accident is one of the keys to ensuring everything goes the way you deserve.
ICBC and Car Accidents: What You Need to Know
In British Columbia, you are legally required to report a collision to ICBC if either of the following circumstances applies:
• You are the driver of a vehicle who was involved in a collision anywhere in British Columbia, or
• You were the passenger in a vehicle that was in a traffic collision and you were also injured.
As you begin the process of reporting your car accident, you have two options available to you: you can do so by telephone or via an online report. Either avenue will connect you with a representative, at which point you will be asked to provide specific information about the accident and any injuries that took place during or immediately after the event. We recommend that you contact a lawyer even before reporting the collision.
If you do not report a car accident to the ICBC – regardless of whether or not you were the driver at fault for the event in the first place – you could face severe financial consequences and could even be subject to a loss of coverage. Likewise, a failure to report the fact that the accident took place could severely limit your ability to seek financial damages at a later date.
At the same time, it is essential to understand that while you do have a legal obligation to report a collision to ICBC, you are under no such obligation to actually file a claim with an ICBC claim adjuster. These are two totally separate concepts and should be treated as such at all times.
When filing a claim, ICBC can and likely will attempt to use the information you provide in your statement to determine how much they will pay you later. For that reason, we highly recommend you seek legal advice before filing a claim with ICBC, so you are represented by a professional who has your interests in mind.
Get help from a Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you’re reporting your car accident to ICBC or making an official statement, it is always recommended that you seek out the help of an experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer like those at Warnett Hallen, LLP FIRST. Doing so can not only make sure that any information you provide in your statement is not later used against you, but it can also be a great way to make sure that you receive every last bit of financial compensation for which you are entitled.
To find out more information about this or any other ICBC-related topic, please don’t delay – contact Warnett Hallen today.