ICBC stands for the Insurance Company of British Columbia and it is a crown corporation (government ran) that concerns itself with automobile insurance. Since insurance is car insurance is mandatory in BC, the government created the ICBC to allow for access to inexpensive car insurance to all inhabitants of the province. Individuals can see private insurance to supplement their ICBC insurance, but every policy must contain the ICBC Autoplan basic coverage.
Whenever anyone in BC is involved in an automobile collision, whether it be with another car or a stationary hazard, they are legally obligated to inform the ICBC in a timely fashion. There are three main parts to a claim: notifying the ICBC, giving a statement, and submitting an application for ICBC benefits. While notification is ideally done within the first 24 hours after the accident the last two steps can be undergone within 30 days and 90 days, respectively.
So what is there to these claims that the average person should know? Well, here’s just a few:
Consult A Lawyer Before Speaking With The ICBC
It is of the utmost importance to confer with a lawyer before starting the process with the ICBC, even if the accident was through no fault of your own it’s important to have professional legal counsel aid you in making your statements. Since the average person isn’t extremely well versed in automobile collision law, a lawyer will help you figure out exactly what to say and how to say it to represent your case as accurately as possible.
Many initial consultations are free of charge, such as the ones offered at https://www.preszlerlawbc.com/icbc-claim-lawyer-surrey/. Further questions are asked as due diligence to ensure that you were operating your vehicle in accordance with your policy. They will help you draft your statement so none of your words will be used against you and that your individual culpability is kept to a minimum.
Get The Other Driver’s Information
No matter what you should strive to get at least the license plate of the other party involved, from there the rest of their information can be found. Ideally, though you will get any pictures of damage on both your car and the other driver’s, their name, license plate, and policy number of any insurance policies they hold. This way you know exactly who you were involved in an accident with and how to follow up with them. If the other driver committed a hit and run, it’s extremely vital that you report it to the police immediately or else your testimony might seem as disingenuous.
Get A Medical Checkup Afterwards
As much as you may loathe going to the doctor, after any car accident you intend to claim you should make a doctor’s appointment immediately to determine if you suffered any injuries from the car crash. This way, you will have information to provide the government to be compensated adequately. Should your injuries eventually develop into a debilitating condition that prevents you from going to work, you’ll be glad that you decided to follow up with a doctor instead of going about your life as if nothing happened.
Understand What Your Claim Is Worth
A lawyer is useful during this step as well, you should know exactly how much in damages was caused to your vehicle as well as how much supplementary compensation you are entitled to like injury benefits or other miscellaneous coverage. The ICBC seeks to settle claims at the lowest dollar amount possible, just like any other insurance company does. Therefore, if you don’t know just how much you should be receiving you’ll have no idea if your proposed settlement is fair.
Dealing with the ICBC is hardly the highlight of anybody’s year, but seeing as how it’s wholly necessary to file a claim in the event of an accident, you should be armed with as much knowledge as possible as to how to navigate the ICBC’s system. A lazy approach could end up in you losing thousands of dollars in potential compensation because you misrepresented the circumstances that lead up to your case.
Hundreds of claims are filed each year with the ICBC which means that lawyers that deal with these cases are extremely well versed in how to properly file a claim and what kind of language to use when describing what happened. Choosing a quality lawyer to represent your case can allow you to relax and focus on getting your life back to normal instead of stressing about properly filing your claim.