How Does the ICBC Decide How Much to Pay an Injured Person?
Understanding how the ICBC determines what to pay an injured person can help you during the process of filing your own claim for injury benefits following an accident. An ICBC lawyer at Preszler Injury Lawyers can advise you of your rights, give you an honest assessment of the money value of your claim, and help you to pursue the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to receive under the law.
What Kinds of Losses Does the ICBC Consider?
Some components of an ICBC settlement offer, such as an injured party’s medical bills for services received in the immediate aftermath of an accident, are objective and easy to understand. Other components will require a more subjective approach, such as the value of an injured party’s:
- Pain and suffering;
- Potentially lost wages and employment opportunities;
- Costs of occupational and rehabilitation therapy;
- Housekeeping and in-home care expenses;
- Out of pocket expenses for transportation to medical appointments, deductibles, and similar matters.
Canadian law imposes limits on compensation for some of these damages, including a cap of approximately $300,000 for pain and suffering. In many cases, a knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer will be able to use the facts of an individual case to negotiate larger total ICBC payments.
What ICBC Claims Can an Injured Person Make?
Persons who are injured in car accidents will typically file a “no-fault” or Part 7 claim with the ICBC. That claim applies to medical and rehabilitation costs without any determination of who caused the accident. If the applicant is totally disabled as a result of the accident, he or she might be able to recover lost wages replacement benefits with a Part 7 claim.
The injured party can also file a tort claim against a negligent driver that caused the accident to recover benefits that are paid from that driver’s insurance. With a successful tort claim, the injured party can receive payments for pain and suffering, future wage losses and prospective medical expenses, and miscellaneous out-of-pocket costs. ICBC payments on tort claims are a direct function of an injured party’s ability to prove that another person’s negligence caused his or her injuries. The ICBC often seeks to apportion liability between two parties and to reduce an injured party’s recovery in proportion to that party’s own contribution to an accident.
How Does the ICBC Payment Process Work?
As soon as possible after a person suffers injuries in an accident, he or she should file an Insurance Claim Application with the ICBC. The ICBC will use the information on that form as a foundation for determining how much to pay the injured party. A skilled ICBC lawyer should review this form before it is submitted to make sure that nothing in it will limit the injured person’s final ICBC payment.
Soon after a claim form is submitted, the ICBC might attempt to settle the claim quickly with a low payment offer. Before accepting any ICBC offer, an injured party should consult with a lawyer to review the offer and any waivers and other documents that the ICBC might ask that party to sign.
If the injured party is not satisfied with the settlement, his or her lawyer can negotiate with the claims adjuster for a higher amount, file a tort claim, or bring the claim to court. The ICBC has its own lawyers and claims negotiators who will attempt to persuade an injured party that a settlement offer will not be increased. Hiring an experienced lawyer to handle ICBC negotiations is an injured party’s best chance to place the negotiations on more level ground.
Call Preszler Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
The ICBC lawyers at Preszler represent the interests of injured parties throughout British Columbia in negotiations and lawsuits with the ICBC. Our mission is to help individuals that have suffered injuries in accidents to recover the largest possible damages under the ICBC’s reimbursement procedures. Please call us for a complimentary consultation.