If you’ve suffered from a serious injury in a car accident, you might be entitled to receive a fair compensation for the financial losses you’ve incurred in the form of an ICBC claim.
Without knowing the proper process, it can be easy to harm the chances of receiving compensation from ICBC. What may seem like harmless decisions can actually work against your ICBC claim and negatively affect your chances of receiving compensation through ICBC. Here are 10 mistakes to avoid in case you’ve been part of a motor collision.
1. Not Getting the Driver’s Information
Inadequate or incomplete information about the driver involved in the accident may prevent you from filing an ICBC claim at all. Always get the license plate number of the vehicle involved in the accident as well as the driver’s name and contact details along with the information of those who witnessed the accident.
2. Not Preserving Evidence
Failing to preserve the evidence that could support your claim can seriously damage the strength of your case at a later date when the memories aren’t so fresh. Be sure to take pictures at the accident site, of your injury and the damages suffered. Keep a complete record of all the expenses incurred such as doctor’s receipts related to your injury, even the parking receipts when visiting your physiotherapist or doctor. Without the receipts, it will be hard to make a claim.
3. Avoiding a Thorough Physical Examination by the Doctor
A doctor’s notes and records are invaluable for an ICBC cash settlement claim. Be sure to visit a doctor at the first opportunity following the accident. Share all your symptoms and track them to avoid losing out on a fair compensation.
4. Failing to Report Concussion Symptoms
Concussions happen to be severely under-diagnosed in Canada partly due to the fact that sufferers hide their symptoms. Realize the severity and longevity of the impact a concussion can have on your life and be sure to document all the symptoms so that you may be properly treated and in turn, be compensated for it.
5. Failing to Report the Accident Itself
All accidents, big or small, need to be reported to ICBC so that a proper investigation may be carried out. Police should also be notified (for minor injuries, call the non-emergency line). Police will investigate and interview witnesses to help determine who is at fault. Report accidents to the ICBC dial-a-claim line soon after the accident occur. If you are uncomfortable reporting the accident yourself, have a lawyer help with the reporting to ICBC.
5. Speaking Directly To The ICBC About Your Case
The ICBC keeps a record of any and all conversations that take place with the defendant/plaintiff in any investigation. This record can be used against you in the case proceedings if you directly approach the organization. Having a lawyer to speak with ICBC on your behalf can work to help your case.
6. Not Applying For Medical Employment Insurance
Any individual rendered unable to work following an accident is entitled to receive up to $300 per week as income replacement benefit. However, the ICBC will not pay this replacement until said individual has applied for or been refused medical employment insurance. Be sure to make that a priority.
7. Not Knowing the Worth of Your ICBC Claim
As is the case with all businesses, the ICBC often tries to settle cases for far less their full worth. Knowing the full legal value of your losses and injuries along with the value placed on them by the law enables you to settle your claim for a full and fair compensation.
8. Settling Too Early
Often, ICBC representatives urge people to settle their cases as soon as possible to avoid greater payouts. Do not settle your case until and unless you know the full extent of your injuries and how they will affect your life in the long-term. Permanent damages can mean long-term medical expenses and translate to long-term income losses. Some injuries progressively worsen over time as well.
9. Being Hasty in Applying for Worker’s Compensation
At the time of the accident, in the case that both the people involved in the accident are employed, then you may only apply for WCB benefits. However, in case the other person is unemployed, then you stand to gain full fair compensation for all the losses incurred by the ICBC. Generally, ICBC claims provide a more fair compensation than WCB benefits. For example, full income loss may be recovered with ICBC claims rather than a percentage of it. Consult a lawyer to find out whether or not you’re entitled to an ICBC claim or you could be walking away from a better deal.
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