ICBC claims are more difficult to pursue than ever before due to legislation effective April 1, 2019, that limits the compensation for injured auto accident victims if the injuries are "minor." This distinction makes it critical to your ICBC claim that you follow the proper steps and gather all relevant information to ensure a speedy and just resolution. The extent of your injuries is determined by the ICBC adjuster, and many severe injuries may be categorized as minor injuries at first glance. However, you can demonstrate the severity of harm and strengthen your ICBC claim in a number of ways.
1. Understand What to Do After an Auto Accident in British Columbia
The first factor to keep in mind is that you need to stay at the scene of the accident until police or emergency medical services arrive. If you do leave or "flee the scene," the ICBC claims adjuster may see that action as admitting fault for the accident, which means you must pay out of pocket for the damages. Other steps to follow after an auto accident in British Columbia include:
- Contact the police and EMS
- Look around the scene and gauge the severity of injuries
- Receive medical care for your injuries and follow all recovery advice
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved
- Take photos and write down your account of what happened
- Look for witnesses and collect their contact information
2. Contact an Experienced ICBC Lawyer
The ICBC lawyers at Stephens & Holman specialize in these claims and have the legal expertise to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. It's crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible because the value of your ICBC claim depends on it. The maximum amount under the new legislation is $5,500 for "minor injuries," but lost wages and out of pocket costs can be awarded in addition. You also need to be aware of the two-year statute of limitations on ICBC claims, so it's essential to act quickly.
Our lawyers will go over the specifics of your claim for compensation and discuss how your injury impacts your quality of life. Injuries that are considered minor at first may actually have lifelong consequences if they affect your ability to work, go to school, and perform everyday tasks for a year or longer. What's most unfortunate about the new limitations on ICBC claims is that the appeal must go through an online portal to the Civil Resolution Tribunal that makes the final judgment. You're not allowed to pursue the matter with the courts.
3. Keep All Documentation No Matter How Insignificant
Keep a record of anything regarding the auto accident and your ICBC claim. To avoid the $5,500 cap for your ICBC claim, you need to document every aspect of the auto accident. From photographs and witness testimony to medical care and expert opinions. If you're unable to perform your work duties, ask your employer for accommodations and make sure it's documented. Follow the treatment and recovery instructions per your physician's orders.
Contact Stephens & Holman About Your ICBC Claim
If you've been injured in an auto accident in British Columbia, contact our ICBC lawyers at Stephens & Holman today at (604) 730-4120 for a consultation. We serve clients in Vancouver and 25 locations in British Columbia.