British Columbia residents who have never had to make an auto accident claim may assume that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”) is just another insurance company. In many respects this is correct, though it is nevertheless unique in several ways:
- Like the Post Office Department and Air Transport Security Authority, the ICBC is a not-for-profit Crown (public) corporation. No other Canadian Province has a comparable automobile insurance provider.
- Despite calls for opening the B.C. auto insurance marketplace to competition from private, for-profit insurers, ICBC remains by law the sole provider of primary auto insurance products in B.C. While it theoretically competes with private carriers for optional products, in reality it also controls close to 90% of that business as well.
- ICBC has direct access to some of the Motor Vehicle Branch’s databases
If you are involved in an automobile crash, here are some common mistakes to avoid in dealing with the ICBC
Failing To Get Owners’ and Drivers’ Names and Contact Information
You must be able to tell the ICBC the identity of the driver and, if different, the owner of the vehicle that struck you. Your claim may be delayed or even denied if you cannot do so.
Forgetting Who the ICBC Adjuster Works For
While it’s true that the ICBC adjuster helps process your claim for accident benefits, he or she is employed by the ICBC. The adjuster’s ultimate goal in each case is to resolve the claim as quickly and as inexpensively as possible.
You are only required to provide a report to ICBC, not a signed statement. The report does not need to detail how the accident happened. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into signing a statement. If it contains misstatements or errors, it can be used to discredit you as a witness later on. Likewise, be careful not to make any oral statements to the adjuster. He or she may later be called as a witness and will be obliged to repeat whatever damaging admissions you made.
Not Getting Prompt Medical Attention After An Accident
Even if your injury appears to be minor, get it checked out by your family doctor. If he or she recommends any follow up care or treatment, be sure to follow those instructions. If there are follow up visits, be sure they’re with the same doctor you saw initially.
While exaggerating your injuries is not advisable, don’t downplay them or refuse any treatment, even if it seems like overkill.
Missing your limitation dates.
Various time limits apply to an ICBC claim. A lawyer can help you avoid letting one of these critical deadlines pass.
Chatting on Social Media
If you have an open claim with ICBC, it’s wise to stay off Facebook, Twitter, and other social media until it’s resolved. ICBC routinely looks at these sources. Since an injury claim typically requires evidence of a negative impact on your life, if your posts show an active and engaged individual they can negatively affect your claim.
The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience handling ICBC claims. Consult the skilled personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond to help you receive the settlement you deserve by contacting our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or by visiting our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free and we have offices located throughout British Columbia.