How Do You File an ICBC Claim?
Knowing how to file a claim with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is important in claiming financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, homemaking services, and property loss. If the accident wasn’t your fault, you might be entitled to further compensation for medical and rehabilitative expenses from the other motorist’s third-party liability coverage.
To preserve your right to these benefits, you must notify the ICBC of the accident online or by phone (ideally, within 24 hours); provide the ICBC with a written statement (within 30 days); submit a benefits application to the ICBC (within 90 days). If you’re unsure what to do next, you can always call Vancouver ICBC lawyers to assist you at no upfront cost.
How To File an ICBC Claim
It is easy to report a claim online or by phone at 1-800-910-4222, any time 24/7. Once you file a report, you will receive a claim number and be contacted by an ICBC claims adjuster within one business day. You can always view the status of your claim online.
The initial report you provide is pretty basic. You’ll need licence plate numbers, driver’s licence numbers, and private insurance information for all of the vehicles involved. Other helpful information includes your preferred ICBC-accredited repair facility, the police report number if officers were on-site, and contact information for any eyewitnesses. You’ll need to provide details of any injuries you suffered and a brief explanation of where, when, and how the crash occurred.
When the insurance company calls you back, they may ask you to sign a waiver releasing your medical records or ask you to provide a formal statement. While it is a legal requirement for your doctor to fill out a medical form, there is no reason to give ICBC full access to all of your medical records. You will need to answer questions truthfully and provide reasonable information, but ICBC may use tactics designed to minimize or even deny your claim. For these reasons, many people opt to work with an ICBC law firm, who can represent them in these crucial early stages, where maximum compensation is still on the table.
Important Considerations When Filing ICBC Claims
Motor vehicle accidents can be very disorienting and life-altering. You may not be of sound mind in the days that follow due to stress or injury. Rather than make a common misstep that could jeopardize your right to financial compensation for your losses, it is best to find experienced Vancouver ICBC lawyers who can represent your best interests. After all, it costs you nothing upfront for their services. The most common errors include:
- Failing to seek immediate medical attention. Sometimes an inconvenient ache or pain becomes a bigger problem later. Even if you only feel a bit sore, a doctor should evaluate your condition for documentation purposes.
- Failing to notify ICBC in a timely manner. Always report to ICBC– even if the damage was seemingly minor, the other driver fled, or you were outside of BC at the time.
- Allowing blame. Your statement matters. You want to avoid saying anything that could make the ICBC claims adjuster believe you were at-fault or even partially at-fault, as this could deny or reduce a claim.
- Signing the statement. ICBC may ask you to sign over all your medical records, so they can dig deep to find what they feel is a “pre-existing condition” that could negate your claim.
- Accepting the first offer. ICBC represents you and the other driver equally. In fact, they are a business out for themselves. Keeping costs low is more of a priority than making sure you’re covered financially.
Do You Need Assistance from Vancouver ICBC Lawyers?
ICBC lawyers only make money if you receive compensation, so it’s in both your best interests to obtain the maximum value for your settlement. Even if you were an innocent victim of another driver’s carelessness, one simple error could cost you thousands of dollars in benefits.
Preszler Injury Lawyers can help you file your claims, prepare your statements, and negotiate with claims adjusters on your behalf. We serve residents throughout the entire Vancouver region with multiple, conveniently located offices in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Kelowna, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, and Victoria.