On average, there are 17,000 reported car crashes each year in the North Central region of BC, according to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Many of these accidents take place in Prince George. In fact, ICBC's statistics show that nine of the top 10 crash intersections in the region are located in Prince George.
The majority of motor vehicle accidents in BC are covered by ICBC, the crown corporation with a provincial monopoly on basic insurance plans. Dealing with ICBC is often a more difficult process for accident victims than you might realize. Although many simple claims, such as a broken windshield or a dented bumper, are promptly resolved without question, payments for more complex injuries often face resistance from ICBC adjusters. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another ICBC-insured driver, adjusters may be reluctant to admit fault and pay the full amount of the victim's damages.
This is why it is always a good idea to work with an experienced Prince George ICBC lawyer before settling any insurance claim. The lawyers at Preszler Law Firm have extensive experience when it comes to dealing with ICBC. We understand all of the tactics adjusters use to minimize payouts, and we will assertively advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive the maximum damages you are entitled to under your policy and BC law.
There are many causes of motor vehicle accidents. Some are the result of a driver simply traveling too fast–either in excess of the speed limit or past what is safe for the given road conditions. In other cases a driver is impaired, and thus unable to safely operate a vehicle, due to the use of alcohol or drugs or fatigue. Then, of course, there are distracted driving cases, where a driver is paying more attention to a smartphone than the road.
There are also situations in which an accident may not strictly be the fault of either driver. A number of third parties may be liable for damages arising from the defective design, manufacture, or repair of a vehicle. For instance, if another driver hits you because his or her brakes failed, legal liability may fall with the repair shop that failed to properly check its work, or even the company that manufactured the defective parts.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding your auto accident, it is important to conduct a full and complete investigation of the underlying causes and any party who may be at fault. Unfortunately, ICBC is often more interested in quickly settling a claim for as little as possible, even before all of the facts are in. Indeed, in many cases, ICBC may push you to sign a statement showing you are at fault, despite there being no legal obligation for you to provide a signed statement. Of course, you should never agree to any such statement without first speaking with a qualified Prince George ICBC lawyer.
At Preszler Law firm, one reason we advise clients never to settle an ICBC claim without speaking to a lawyer first is that you may not be immediately aware of the full extent of your damages following an accident. Many physical injuries do not produce immediate symptoms. We also know from experience that many accident victims do not bother to seek immediate medical attention. This is often a costly mistake, as when evidence later emerges that an accident is more serious than initially thought, ICBC will attempt to use the victim's delay in seeking treatment as “proof” the injuries are not as bad as claimed or not caused by the accident.
Some of the more common car accident injuries we deal with include, but are not limited to:
Depending on the extent and permanence of your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your long-term medical care and lost income, as well as non-pecuniary damages to account for your pain and suffering.
Just as many people put off seeing a doctor following a car accident, they also delay contacting a lawyer. This reluctance to seek legal advice is often rooted in the mistaken belief that you "cannot afford a lawyer," and that hiring one will only make things more difficult when dealing with ICBC.
The reality is just the opposite. Hiring a lawyer entails no financial risk to you. At Preszler Law Firm, we exclusively handle cases on a contingency basis. This means that you are liable for zero fees or costs unless and until we reach a settlement with ICBC or recover damages on your behalf in court. Dealing with a lawyer also means less work for you and ensures a level playing field with ICBC by preventing them from taking advantage of the fact that you may not know the law or what your claim is actually worth. Know your rights before settling your case; knowledge is power in an ICBC case. So, if you have recently been in a car accident, do not delay any further. Contact Preszler Law Firm at 1-844-373-8202 to schedule an appointment today.