Did you know that in 2016 alone there were 330,000 crashes reported to ICBC? However, not all of the cases were compensated as much as they supposed to receive. In fact, ICBC can still decide to keep the claims costs low.
To make it worse, there are fatal mistakes that can make you go through the ICBC claim process for nothing. Here is a recent case in which the claimant got zero because there was no medical evidence of injury. Of course, it’s your lawyer’s job to get you the best compensation as possible for your injuries, but you can help them out a lot by avoiding making these top 7 terrible mistakes.
1. Settle your case without an ICBC lawyer
If you are not a lawyer, don’t try to do the lawyer’s work just to save some money. ICBC is a business and paying you the full legal value is obviously against its interests. ICBC adjusters are trained to settle your case for much less than it is actually worth and as soon as possible, way before the injuries have the chance to stabilize.
In fact, they know how to persuade claimants not to hire a lawyer, because a lawyer can properly quantify the claim and then get you the best compensation. Unless you know the full extent of your injuries and losses, and what value the law places on them, or are a lawyer yourself, don’t risk settling your case on your own.
2. Have your injuries examined wrongly
After the accident, seek medical help immediately, even the injuries seem not very severe. It’s best to consult your own general physician because he or she knows your history and therefore can treat you effectively as well as follow your progress. Walk-in clinic doctors should only be thought of when you have an acute problem and you can’t manage to see your regular doctor right away.
In some cases, many believe that it’s better to depend on a chiropractor, acupuncturist or massage therapist rather than a regular medical doctor. However, at the end of the day, in order for your ICBC claim to be credible to the ICBC and the courts, you still need to engage with a regular medical doctor.
3. Forget to get the driver and owner’s names and contact information
You do have a legal duty to identify the person who caused your accident and also the owner of the vehicle properly. If you do not, you may be barred from making an ICBC claim.
Apart from that, you should also obtain the names, addresses and contact information of any witness. This comes in extremely helpful in case you are involved in a hit and run. Forgot doing so? You can put up signs near the accident location and put an ad in the newspaper asking witnesses to contact you.
4. Give signed statements to ICBC
It’s your obligation to give ICBC a report, not a signed statement. The purpose of the report is to apply for the no-fault benefits, which means questions of how the accident occurred are irrelevant. Even if the adjuster encourages you to sign the statement, don’t. They can turn it over to the defendant to defend and minimize your claim.
5. Not telling your doctor all your problems
Tell your doctors all of your symptoms, even the smallest ones such as concussions. Yes, the records and notes play an important role in your case so they need to be accurate and detailed, but this is also for your health. Something seems small at the beginning might cause you problems in the future. Plus the doctor needs to know everything in order to diagnose your injuries and treat you properly.
6. Not preserving evidence
Apart from getting possible witnesses’ contact information, you can take pictures of your injuries, the accident location, or the damage to the vehicles… Also don’t get rid of any receipts related to your injuries, even those for parking at your doctor’s office. What’s not there won’t be compensated.
7. Not getting all the treatments you need
Don’t stop getting the treatment until you get better. This is a fatal mistake to any ICBC claim because you must take all reasonable steps to overcome your injuries at law. When you struggle due to lack of budget or time, consult your ICBC lawyer about this immediately.