If you’ve been involved in an accident, contact our team of Vancouver ICBC lawyers right away. Don’t make the mistake of filing an insurance claim on your own—with the help of a lawyer; you increase your chances of receiving the full compensation you deserve. Here are the top 10 mistakes made by accident victims when dealing with the ICBC:
Not Talking to a Lawyer First
There’s a dial tone service set up so that people contact ICBC immediately. They make it very easy for people to do so but the first thing you need to do after taking care of any medical concerns is to contact a lawyer so that you know your rights and obligations before seeing ICBC. ICBC will gather medical information from you and also have you sign a number of documents that you wouldn’t necessarily have to sign. It’s important for you to talk to a lawyer first before meeting with ICBC.
Signing Documents for ICBC
If you meet with ICBC, you’ll be asked to sign documents that will give ICBC full access to your medical and employment history. Some of that information they get may be irrelevant and can be misused if it’s in the wrong hands.
It’s a big mistake to post personal information on Facebook assuming that ICBC won’t see it. A picture is worth a thousand words and it’s not necessarily an accurate representation of what’s going on. ICBC may use that against you because it’s to their benefit to minimize your claim.
Thinking the Adjuster is on Your Side
Your ICBC insurance adjuster is not on your side. He or she works for ICBC and his or her job is to save ICBC money. The insurance company goal is to pay as little money as possible and the adjusters are there to help the insurance company not to help you.
Not Knowing Limitation Dates
2 year limitation date is most common one from the date the accident occurred. Generally, you have two years to commence legal proceedings or settle your claim. If you fail to do that, you could lose your claim altogether.
Not Being Truthful
If you lie to ICBC and the lie is discovered, your claim can be severely compromised and might even be dismissed. You can put things in context or explain them but always be truthful when you do so.
Not Keeping Receipts
It’s a mistake not to keep your medical receipts because it’s important to be able to prove your claim to a judge or an insurance adjuster. ICBC will not pay for an expense if you don’t have a receipt.
Not Following Medical Advice
There are many reasons to follow the advice of your doctor. It’s your doctor’s job to help you heal. If you don’t follow your doctor’s advices, perhaps you’re not going to heal as fast. Another reason is that if you don’t follow your doctor’s advice, ICBC can argue that your damages should be reduced because you did not do all you could to get better.
Settling Too Early
ICBC wants you to settle your claim as soon as possible simply because any problems you have after you’ve signed off on a claim are your problems. If you have a permanent or long-term injury, it’s obviously not going to be nearly enough and you will not be properly compensated, so don’t be tempted to do that.
Insuring Your Vehicle Improperly
If you’re the principal operator of a vehicle, but you don’t have a great driving record, it may be tempting to put that insurance under the name of someone else in your family. That may get you on the road in the short term but if you have an accident, you might as well not even pay for that insurance. What will happen, if you cause an accident, is ICBC won’t fix your car but will pay to fix the car of the other driver. ICBC may pay an insurance claim for injury to the other person that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then after ICBC has paid all that money out, ICBC is entitled to come to you and say you owe that money to them. If that happens and you can’t make a deal to pay them back, ICBC is entitled to not reinsure your car. Your driver’s license may not be renewed.
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Kevin Blair &
Taylor & Blair LLP
Personal Injury lawyers
1607 – 805 West Broadway