The process of filing a personal injury claim with ICBC following an auto accident is a complicated one, filled with hidden pitfalls and mistakes you can make without ever knowing. At Stephens & Holman in Vancouver, our ICBC lawyers have been involved in many injury cases, and seen lots of different ways an injury claim can go wrong. Here are four of the most common mistakes people make with their ICBC claims.
1. Failing to get all information on the other driver(s) and their vehicle(s)
It is important to obtain as much information as possible including licence plate number(s), type of vehicle(s), ownership of the vehicle(s) and insurance information in the case of an out of province vehicle, as well as the name, address, and driver's licence(s) of all drivers involved. It is a good idea to take photographs of all documents that you are shown.
2. Failing to Get Witness Information After an Accident
Proving that you were not at fault in a car accident is not something that always comes down to physical evidence. While skid marks, points of impact, and new technologies like dashboard cameras can occasionally reveal the truth about a car crash, the testimony of both drivers and any witnesses is still how most cases are resolved.
If anyone saw your car accident, be sure to get their name and contact information. If they are willing to give a written statement to you at the scene of the accident, that can be helpful as well. These can be valuable pieces of evidence for your claim. Supplement them by taking pictures of the accident scene with your phone.
3. Posting Content to Social Media that Hurts Your Case
If you have an ongoing claim with ICBC, it’s probably best to go silent on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media for a while. Many people use social media to display the good things happening in their lives, but a central point of most injury claims is how injuries have negatively affected your life. ICBC looks at your social media profiles, and if you seem to be active and socially engaged, it may cause them to question the seriousness of your injuries. They may even use your social media posts as pretext for denying your claim.
4. Failing to Hire a Lawyer
On ICBC’s website, they write, “Our goal is to pay all claims fairly without the expense and delay of litigation. You don’t need to start legal action to get compensation for your injury.” What they fail to point out is, if your claim is denied unfairly (which can and does happen), you may end up being a single person with little legal experience seeking redress from a huge institution with teams of dedicated lawyers.
In general, lawyers like those at Stephens & Holman can help you get through the ICBC claims process, and are there to help if your claim is unexpectedly denied. To schedule a free initial legal consultation with our Vancouver personal injury lawyers, call 604-730-4120, or fill out the form at the top of this page.