Can I Still File an ICBC Claim If I’m at Fault?
Accidents happen to everyone. When a car accident occurs due to your fault, the fear of potential repercussions could feel overwhelming. These accidents can lead to an increase in your insurance premiums and even costly traffic citations.
The good news is that you are entitled to file an ICBC claim even if you caused an accident.
That does not mean the claims process is guaranteed to go smoothly. ICBC adjusters routinely deny claims for at-fault drivers despite the availability of insurance coverage. A personal injury law firm could help you file your claim or fight back against a denial.
British Columbia residents that own and drive a vehicle all face the same insurance requirements. Each driver must carry basic auto insurance to retain the ability to drive. One aspect of this mandatory coverage is accident benefits.
These benefits apply evenly across the board in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Both the at-fault party and the blameless driver could file for benefits on their own policy. The basic plan covers your injuries as well as the injuries of your passengers. These benefits could cover the cost of your medical treatment, including:
- Emergency medical costs
- Follow-up care
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Medical devices
Additionally, a claim could also cover the wages you miss because of the injury. Your ICBC lawyer could assist you in gathering the records you need to establish these damages. The maximum benefit allowed under these policies is $150,000 per person.
If you have collision coverage, you might also be able to seek compensation for your vehicle damage. These policies will help you either repair or replace the vehicle that was damaged in the accident.
How your insurance premium is affected
You are entitled to pursue these benefits regardless of fault. That does not mean there are no consequences if you are found to be at fault. If you make an ICBC claim for an accident you caused, there is a strong chance of your insurance premium going up. If you are responsible for another driver’s damages, that could increase your premium even more.
There is no hard and fast rule on how much your premiums might go up. Your driving history will play an important role, as a history of accidents could inflate your premium even more.
When fault is shared
It is not always simple to determine fault after a car accident. In some cases, both drivers will share in the responsibility for a crash. If you are somewhat – but not entirely – at fault, it is important that you understand how it could impact your claim.
Under ICBC rules, partial fault for an accident could make you partially responsible for your deductible. While this could lead to paying more out of pocket than you otherwise would have to, the same benefits as previously discussed should be available in your case.
In some cases, it is impossible to determine with certainty who was at fault for a crash. When this happens, ICBC could simply decide to spread the blame evenly against both parties. This could lead to both drivers paying some of their deductible in order to obtain benefits under the policy.
When another driver shares in the blame, it changes the dynamic of insurance coverage. Even a small degree of fault from the other driver could you access to benefits through their liability policy. If your damages are more than your policy limits, this policy could help fill the gap.
Let Preszler Injury Lawyers help with your ICBC claim
Why pursue a claim on your own, when you can partner with an experienced ICBC claims law firm with a long track record of success in recovering maximum compensation for their clients? While you have the right to take on the ICBC by yourself, you put yourself at risk of recovering less than you are entitled to. To ensure your rights are protected during the claims process, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers. During your free consultation, you can get all the information you need to decide what your next steps will be.