How Does ICBC Determine Liability in a Car Accident?

Serving Greater Vancouver and Nearby Areas of British Columbia

If you have been injured in a British Columbia car accident and there is disagreement about who is at fault for the collision, ICBC will assign an insurance adjuster to both you and the other driver in order to determine how to apportion the blame. Liability for an accident is decided internally; the adjusters will negotiate amongst themselves to reach a decision.

Most of the time, you do not have any input on this process. If you are lucky, your adjuster may actually interview the accident witnesses in detail in order to reach a reasoned decision. Unfortunately, more often than not, ICBC adjusters make a decision without much investigation in order to resolve the claim as quickly as possible.

It’s important to understand that ICBC’s internal decision regarding liability is not binding on you unless you accept their position at face value. If you disagree with their decision, you will need to overturn it. This can be done in one of two ways:

  • Asking ICBC for an internal review – The issue of liability will be reviewed by a committee at ICBC.
  • Proceed to Small Claims / Supreme Court – Filing a lawsuit on the issue of liability requires that you sue the other motorist(s) involved in the accident, not ICBC. If the court makes a decision different than the ICBC’s internal decision, the Court’s decision stands.

If you pursue this issue in court, ICBC will appoint a lawyer to represent the other driver you are suing. This means you will be up against an experienced lawyer, in which case you will need to hire your own attorney in order to have the best chance of success. For over 20 years, Stephens & Holman has been helping British Columbians successfully prove liability in these types of cases, obtaining the compensation they deserve after a serious car accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident anywhere in British Columbia, please contact Stephens & Holman today or call toll free 604-730-4120 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Surrey ICBC lawyers. We have 14 office locations throughout British Columbia.