Auto accidents can change your life in a split-second. While minor collisions such as a fender bender may not cause permanent injuries, severe car accidents such as those involving commercial trucks can lead to permanent disability or wrongful death. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) provides basic auto insurance, but additional coverage is available through the company as well. An ICBC injury claims lawyer can help you through the process of recovering compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage. It’s crucial you contact a lawyer before you talk to an ICBC adjuster.
If you’ve been in an auto accident in the Greater Vancouver area, our attorneys at Stephens & Holman are available to help. Call us today at (604) 730-4120 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You don’t pay us until after you’ve collected damages for your ICBC injury claim.
The resources you can find on this page include:
- What to Do After an Auto Accident in Vancouver
- Compensation for an ICBC Injury Claim
- FAQ on ICBC Claims
- How an ICBC Injury Lawyer can Help
What to Do After an Auto Accident in Vancouver
The steps you take following a car accident are a vital part of your ICBC claim. Immediately following the motor vehicle collision, assess your injuries and check on the safety of your passengers and those inside the other car(s). Contact the police and emergency services for help and stay on the scene until they arrive. Depending on the severity of the crash and your injuries, you may need to go straight to the hospital to treat your wounds.
The Motor Vehicle Act makes it illegal for you to leave the scene of an auto accident without contacting the police and/or exchanging pertinent information with the other drivers involved in the collision. The ICBC may consider your absence from the crash scene a violation of your insurance contract, which may leave you with the responsibility of paying back money ICBC gave you for the accident claim or you may have to pay out of pocket for the property damage and injuries caused by the auto accident.
If you leave the collision site without reporting the incident, ICBC could see this as admitting fault for the accident or suspect you fled the scene because you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, if you failed to contact the police or collect information from the other driver(s), our ICBC injury claims lawyers can help you hold ICBC liable for coverage.
Once you’ve called the police and assessed your injuries, gather the following information from all drivers involved in the accident (regardless of who was at fault or how minor the collision and subsequent damage seems to be):
- Phone number
- License plate
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance policy
Write this information down but also take a picture of the license plate, driver’s license, and insurance policy using your phone to make sure the details are correct and as a backup, in case you lose your written notes. This will also help in case the driver of the other vehicle gave you a false name and insurance information. One or more of the vehicles involved may be not be registered or insured in British Columbia, in which case you’ll need to get the insurance provider’s name and policy number.
Look around the area of the auto accident for witnesses and collect their names and phone numbers so we can call on them to establish fault or gather more information about the crash during the ICBC claims process. Take photographs of the crash scene including damage to all vehicles involved and the positioning of the cars. You can also use this time to write down what happened before you forget important details. Drawing or sketching the scene of the auto accident may be beneficial as well.
Once the police arrive, they will prepare an accident report which must be sent to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia within ten days of the auto accident.
Compensation for an ICBC Injury Claim
The compensation you receive for the auto accident from ICBC will depend on several factors. However, the critical evidence ICBC claims adjusters rely on is the scene of the crash and your account of what happened to cause the collision. It’s essential that you speak with our ICBC injury claims lawyers before the adjuster, so you don’t admit fault and hurt your case. Whether or not you’re responsible for the accident doesn’t mean you can’t recover damages for treated injuries and vehicle repair, but the amount of compensation may decrease if you’re found partially or wholly at fault.
Areas of recoverable compensation in an ICBC claim include:
- Vehicle repair or replacement: Keep detailed notes and see a repair shop to get a quote on the estimated total cost of repairing your vehicle. ICBC will also require you to do this but having an unbiased quote can help your accident claim and ensure you’re reimbursed or compensated for the repair or replacement of your car or truck.
- Lost Income: Many auto accidents occur on your way to or from work. The extent of your injuries may make you take even more time away, which can have a significant impact on your income, particularly if a partial or total disability is involved. You could be entitled to recover lost wages or loss of income from the ICBC claim.
- High Medical Expenses: Residents of British Columbia are eligible for provincial health insurance. The Medical Services Plan (MSP) is public health insurance in B.C. which requires you to apply and costs a monthly fee. This plan covers medical expenses for “medically-necessary” doctor’s visits and services. In an ICBC injury claim, you’re entitled to compensation for high medical costs including ongoing care such as physical therapy.
FAQ on ICBC Claims
The ICBC claims process can be confusing, especially when severe, irreversible injuries are involved. Our ICBC lawyers often hear the same questions from our injured clients such as, “What if I was Partially at Fault for the Accident?” or “Will I be Punished for Hiring a Lawyer?” Learn the answers to these questions and more in the SlideShare below on frequently asked questions about ICBC claims:
Some of the crucial takeaways from these FAQs include:
- It’s illegal for the ICBC claims adjuster to punish you in any way for obtaining legal counsel for your ICBC injury claim.
- You have two years from the date of the accident to file your ICBC injury claim lawsuit.
- You could still be eligible for compensation if you were at fault for the collision.
- A lawyer can translate your injuries, pain and suffering, and property damage into monetary value.
- ICBC claims adjusters establish fault using the police report, scene of the accident, witness testimony, an estimator to assess the details of the crash, and other factors.
- You can start your ICBC claim by filing online.
- If you were injured while in B.C. for a vacation, you'd still need to go through the ICBC claims process depending on who was involved in the auto accident.
- Auto accidents that cause the death of a loved one provide compensation to surviving family members for the loss along with burial expenses.
How an ICBC Injury Lawyer can Help
Our lawyers in British Columbia can help you through the ICBC claims process so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. We will make sure your rights are protected and compile the evidence and information about the auto accident to determine what happened and what you’re owed for injuries and costs associated with the collision.
We use this data along with your testimony and information from witnesses to translate your damages into monetary value and pursue compensation from the ICBC. Our lawyers at Stephen & Holman offer FREE, no-obligation consultations and collect payment only after you’ve received compensation for your ICBC injury claim.
Contact Our ICBC Injury Claims Lawyer for a FREE Consultation
The law firm you choose matters. We specialize in ICBC claims, and it’s vital you contact us about your ICBC settlement before you speak with the ICBC adjuster assigned to your claim. Contact us today at (604) 730-4120 for a complimentary case evaluation. Stephens & Holman has 17 office locations throughout Greater Vancouver and surrounding areas of British Columbia.