Being injured in a car accident is a traumatic experience that can result in long-term consequences for your physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being. The complex and confusing process of recovering a claim through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) can make this difficult time even more trying.
Because every car accident is unique and the value of a claim depends on numerous factors, it's impossible to say up-front how much a claim might be worth. If you were injured in a car accident in British Columbia, it's vital to hire an experienced ICBC lawyer to help you navigate the claims minefield. The lawyers at Stephens & Holman can help you determine the value of your claim and will fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
How Does ICBC Determine Settlement Amounts?
After a car accident, if the police attend, they will produce an accident report. When you file a claim, ICBC will use this report, along with photographic documentation, forensic evidence, and witness testimony, to determine fault for the accident and settlement amounts. The at-fault party can still receive a settlement for their car repairs, but won't receive the damages that the innocent party may be entitled to.
It's important to remember that ICBC is not on your side. It normally also represents the other party in the accident. It may try to apportion some fault on you to minimize the settlement it has to pay you. ICBC adjusters may also offer you low-ball compensation to try to close your case quickly. The lawyers at Stephens & Holman can help you determine the fairness of any settlement offers and negotiate to obtain a better offer.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover in an ICBC Claim?
You may be entitled to a variety of damages after your car accident, including:
- Pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life: These damages are hard to quantify, but the lawyers at Stephens & Holman will help translate the impact of PTSD, anxiety, and the inability to live your previous lifestyle into recoverable dollar amounts.
- Loss of future income: If your injuries prevent you from working in the future or limit your ability to earn a living, you could receive damages commensurate with your diminished earning capacity.
- Cost of future care: These damages cover future medical procedures, equipment, medication, and facilities. These also include in-home care services if you're unable to cook or clean for yourself.
- In-trust damages: If your friends or family experience economic loss because of time spent caring for you — if your spouse quits their job to care for you, for example — they are entitled compensation for these services even if provided at no charge.
What are the Steps for Filing an ICBC Claim?
You have two years from the date of an accident within which to file a claim, so you should start the process as quickly as possible.
- Get the driver's license number, license plate number, and insurance information from others involved in the crash.
- Seek medical treatment.
- Speak to an ICBC claims lawyer such as those at Stephens & Holman before you talk to an adjuster. They can help ensure you don't say anything that could limit your claim.
- File your claim online.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
The lawyers at Stephens & Holman specialize in ICBC claims. They will protect your rights and help you secure the compensation you're owed as you try to heal from a traumatic experience. They serve all of British Columbia with 24 conveniently placed offices. They can also visit you in your home or in the hospital.
Call 604-730-4120 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.