11 Worst Mistakes to Make with Your ICBC Claim

car accident ICBC claim worst mistakes

For many people, auto accidents are very jarring and emotional experiences. Even if you’re not injured in an accident, you may find yourself flustered and unsure of what to do next. Here are some mistakes to avoid when going through a car accident.

1. Not getting the driver and owner’s names and contact information.

In an auto and motor vehicle accident you have a legal duty to properly identify the party who collided with you. If you do not, you may not have a claim. In order to access the insurance coverage, you must also identify the owner of the vehicle. A lawyer can help you with both these steps.

2. Giving ICBC a signed statement.

You are only obligated to give a report to ICBC, not a signed statement. The purpose of the report is to apply for Part 7 No Fault benefits. Therefore, any questions of how the accident happened are irrelevant. The adjuster will try and insist that you must sign such a statement. Why? So that they can turn it over to the defendant to defend and minimize your claim. The adjuster will try and use anything that is misstated, omitted or confusing against you later on. Don’t do it. Learn more about how to report your accident to ICBC without giving a signed statement in this article.

3. Not realizing who the adjuster is working for.

The ICBC adjuster works for you with regard to your accident benefits but at the same time is working for ICBC and the defendant. Their job is to close your claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Some are good people just doing their job. Some try and gain your trust so that at the end they can pay as little as possible. Their goal is to save the insurance company money, not pay you what you deserve.

Your adjuster can be called as a witness in your case by the defendant to try and reduce your compensation. Anything you say to the adjuster can and will be used against you.

4. Waiting to seek medical attention.

If you are injured, get help immediately. If you delay, thinking “It’s no big deal, I’ll get over it,” you may not get the medical treatment you need when you need it. ICBC will also think your injuries could not have been that serious, which can lower your settlement options.

5. Getting treated at a walk in clinic or by multiple general practioners.

Walk in clinics are great for efficiently dealing with immediate acute injuries, but are not as effective for chronic injuries which require more than one doctor visit. The doctor will not know your history. The doctor often does not have enough time to listen, examine and deal with all your injuries. The doctor may not be able to effectively treat you. Also if you have to obtain a medical opinion from a doctor regarding your injuries to prove to ICBC that you were hurt, which doctor do you choose? Get a family doctor that you can communicate well with and stick with them.

6. Not telling your doctor all your problems.

If it is not in the doctor’s records, then to ICBC, it does not exist. Things that seem small initially may in the long run be the biggest problems. Tell your doctor about everything. Don’t forget to talk to the doctor about any emotional problems that have arisen from the accident. They are there to help with your physical and psychological well being.

7. Not following the doctor’s advice.

At law, you have an obligation to take all reasonable steps to overcome your injuries. That means following the doctor’s advice. If you disagree with what your doctor wants you to do, explain why. If the doctor still wants you to do it, try it and report back to your doctor how it went. Usually they will then listen to your concerns and make the necessary adjustments in your treatment.

8. Relying only on therapists or chiropractors for medical help.

ICBC, and often the courts, give little weight to the opinion of physiotherapists or chiropractors when it comes time to compensate you for your injuries. They may be the ones who help you but their opinion is given little attention. ICBC will often hire specialists with impressive credentials to try and prove that you were not injured or that the injuries were not very severe. Make sure you see your family physician at least once per month. If there are large gaps in your visits to your doctor ICBC will conclude that you were really not very hurt.

9. Relying only on the public medical system.

For most cases, the public medical system can adequately provide the help you need. There are cases though, where the public system, due to lack of information, education or funding, will not get you the investigations and assessments you need. In those cases, we can obtain and pay for this help.

10. Missing your limitation dates.

Various laws and statutes require things to be done on your claim within 30 days, 60 days, 2 months, 6 months and 2 years, depending on the claim. A lawyer can advise and guide you through these limitation dates and make sure that your claim is not denied.

11. Not consulting with a lawyer about your claim.

Not all claims need a lawyer. But how do you know if you do or don’t? Consult with a lawyer. We offer an entirely free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and see if you need our help and we can add value to your claim. Book your free consultation today to learn if you need help from a personal injury lawyer, so you can have a fair settlement.

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