You were involved in an accident and now you need to file a claim with the ICBC. Whether you’ve been injured or there was only damage to your vehicle, you are likely not looking forward to the claims process.
Before you make that call, there are some things you should know that might make the claim process simpler:
1. Changes to the ICBC minor injury policy
There have been changes to the ICBC policy on minor injuries. If you sustained an injury after April 1, 2019, that was deemed as “minor”, the ICBC must justify that designation in the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). If the CRT agrees that your injury is minor, then the maximum benefits you can receive for pain and suffering is $5,500.
If your accident occurred after April 1, consult an ICBC accident lawyer before you engage in the CRT process as it will be very challenging to have a minor injury designation reversed. If you fail to seek legal advice, you could negatively impact your ability to access fair compensation.
2. You must call the police
Once there is an injury and/or significant damage to property, you must call the police. Even when in doubt, call the police and let them decide whether they need to come to the scene, or if you can file a report over the phone. The police report will be helpful in your ICBC claim.
3. What to do at the accident scene
When you call the ICBC, they will request basic information about the accident. So, once you do not require emergency attention, collect as many details as you can while you are still at the scene.
You will the licence plate number, driver’s licence number and insurance information of the driver who hit you. Ensure you give the driver your information as well, regardless of whom you think is at fault. If you leave the scene prematurely, you may open yourself to civil or criminal charges.
After you’ve exchanged information, speak to witnesses and collect their contact information. Also, take pictures of everything at the scene. You cannot have too much information. Even if you do not need all the information you’ve collected during your initial conversation with the ICBC, it may come in handy later during your case.
4. What you should tell the ICBC
You must report the accident to the ICBC as soon as possible. When you call the ICBC, you should be careful what details you share. You are required to tell them who was involved in the accident where it took place and other basic information.
The claims adjuster you speak with may ask you questions such as who was at a fault, but you are not required to respond at that time. If you answer that question incorrectly, it may be used against in your case. If you were injured and want to file a personal injury claim, ideally, you should wait until you have consulted a car accident lawyer before you start discussing matters such as a fault.
5. Deadlines for filing claims
Deadlines vary across ICBC claims. If you are filing for no-fault benefits you must make a claim in writing within 30 days of the accident. When filing for a hit-and-run on a BC public highway, you have 6 months to file your claim.
If you are filing a lawsuit against a negligent private driver, you have 2 years to file a claim but if your lawsuit is against a BC municipality or against a government employee who was acting in an official capacity at the time of your accident, you have only two months to start the process.
Do you need an ICBC accident lawyer in Surrey?
If you are searching for an ICBC car accident lawyer in Surrey, contact us at Nirwan Law Corporation and let us deal with the ICBC for you.
At Nirwan Law Corporation, you will meet with our experienced ICBC car accident lawyer on your very first visit for a free legal consultation. If you choose our firm to represent in your ICBC claim, we won’t charge legal fees unless your case is successful.
So, give us a call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.