Yes, you are required to report accidents to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).
Automobile accidents are traumatic events that can lead to anxiety, sadness, confusion, anger, and uncertainty. This mixture of emotions can affect your judgement in the days that follow. When a serious accident with injuries has occurred, you could be whisked away from the scene in a hurry, with your attention immediately focused on your prognosis and the health status of your loved ones. Yet, there are important considerations you must deal with right away – one of those being the accident report you must file with the ICBC.
This may seem like a small technicality, but the failure to promptly report your accident could jeopardize your claim to ICBC benefits later.
Why Do You Have To Report Accidents To ICBC?
Since 1973, British Columbia’s major insurer has served as a certified body overseeing driver licencing, vehicle registration, and road safety. In the province of British Columbia, you are legally required to report a collision if you are the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision anywhere in B.C. or if you are an injured vehicle passenger.
If you are privately insured, and only your own vehicle was damaged, you will need to report to your private insurer as well as ICBC if there was any injury, another vehicle was involved, or property was damaged.
How Long Do You Have To Report To ICBC?
Claimants are allowed up to 30 days from the date of the car accident to provide a report online or by phone at 1-800-910-4222. It could take more than a month for you to obtain a clear prognosis on your injuries or a quote on the damage to your vehicle, so ICBC allows up to 90 days to complete an accident benefit application. You can expect to wait up to 30 days for ICBC to respond to your accident claim. Reporting as soon as possible will help you avoid delays in obtaining necessary benefits.
What Information Do You Need To Provide?
The initial report you provide and the benefit application are two different pieces of paperwork. For the report, you will need to give the ICBC basic details, such as:
The benefit application requires you to provide your contact information and personal health number, contact information for your medical provider, a description of your injuries and symptoms, and employment history for the past 12 months.
Should You Seek Legal Advice Before Reporting Your Accident To ICBC?
ICBC is an insurance company looking to remain solvent. It is not in their best interest to pay everybody the maximum value compensation. Instead, they intend to pay as small an amount to claimants as possible, to increase their profit. An ICBC lawyer, on the other hand, works solely for you. At Preszler Law Firm, we offer free consultations and only get paid if you recover compensation as a result of our efforts.
Many claimants inadvertently make mistakes in dealing with ICBC, which can undermine the amount of compensation they can seek. For instance, if the insurance adjuster asks how you’re doing, and you say “fine,” they could take it as an admission that you’re not badly injured. You might admit to slamming on your brakes to avoid an animal in the road and get slapped with partial fault for the rear-ender, which could substantially limit the amount of money you receive. In fact, your Basic Autoplan coverage could also be responsible for paying the other motorist if you’re determined partially at-fault.
While you absolutely must report automobile accidents to the ICBC, when and how you do so matters. Hiring an experienced attorney from Preszler Law Firm to represent your claim can help maximize the amount you receive.