How Does ICBC Determine Fault and How Will it Affect My Claim?

If you’ve recently been involved in an auto accident, then you may be planning to file an ICBC claim—particularly if you believe another party was at fault. Ultimately, fault will be decided by ICBC, and the findings will determine your eligibility for insurance benefits for you injury. By understanding how fault is determined and some of the nuances involved with this decision, you can better prepare for the outcome of your ICBC claim and protect your best interests.

Fault-Determining Factors for Your Car Accident Injury

ICBC’s guidelines for determining fault in an auto accident are outlined in detail in the Motor Vehicle Act. There are a few main steps involved in determining fault. For starters, an ICBC adjuster will likely take statements from you and any other people involved in the accident to get a better idea of what contributed to the crash. Witnesses may also be interviewed and asked to give statements here.

In addition to first-hand accounts, an ICBC adjuster may also review any police reports related to your accident, as well as visiting the accident scene him or herself to assess the area. If there was any property damage related to your accident, a consultation with the estimator will also be scheduled.

Ultimately, fault is determined based on these factors, along with recent court decisions in accidents similar to yours. Typically, fault findings are available no more than 30 days after the accident.

What if Fault in An Accident Isn’t Obvious?

In some accidents, determining fault is simple enough. This is especially true in instances of a vehicle running a red light/stop sign or in rear-end accidents. In other cases, however, determining fault can be very challenging. This is why it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases and claims rather than simply relying on ICBC to properly make this determination. Also keep in mind that if you are found at-fault for an accident and disagree with the findings, you have the right to challenge the findings with the help of a lawyer.

Admitting Liability and British Columbia’s Apology Act

Even if you apologized for an accident on the scene and in reality fault was partially or even fully the other driver’s, you should still be entitled to full financial compensation for your injury. While it is never a good idea to admit fault at the scene of an auto accident, having done so does not mean you have forfeited all of your rights related to your ICBC claim. British Columbia’s Apology Act dictates that apologizing or expressing remorse to someone at an accident scene does not necessarily equate to legally admitting fault or assuming blame for an accident.

If ICBCs offer you a small claim on the basis they believed you were at fault for an accident, you should speak to a personal injury to help protect your rights and best interest.

The Bottom Line

Waiting on a decision from ICBC regarding your accident claim can be a stressful time. Keep in mind, however, that having the right legal team on your side to help you with your claim and contest the findings of detemring who is at fault so you can get the injury compensation you deserve can help reduce your stress and worry. Contact our team at Becker, Lavin & Wessler today for your free case consultation.

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