If you were struck by a car or injured as a driver or passenger, you should not feel completely helpless during this difficult time of injury, anger, and pain. You can turn your frustrations into something productive by seeking out the help of an Insurance Company of British Columbia (ICBC) lawyer and filing a personal injury claim. You can be compensated for your out-of-pocket medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and lost earning capacity, lost housekeeping ability, and more. Your first step should be to contact ICBC and inform them of the collision. To find out more, contact the Vernon law offices of the Preszler Law Firm to discuss your options with one of our experienced ICBC lawyers.
While our roads have become less dangerous in the past decade, there are still over 300 motor vehicle accident deaths per year in British Columbia, according to the BC Coroners Service. A slight uptick has been detected in the past few years as well, possibly due to increased cell phone use behind the wheel. Crashes are typically caused in one or more of the following scenarios where the other driver fails to drive in a safe and prudent manner:
Approximately 17% of all motor vehicle incident fatalities are those of pedestrians, despite the total time spent traveling by foot being much less than by car. Pedestrians are at great risk of injury or death even when the collision occurs at a relatively slow speed of 20 or 30 kilometers per hour. The most common reason for pedestrians to be struck is the driver not noticing them due to distraction.
Additionally, 2.9% of fatalities are those of cyclists, another group that is extremely vulnerable due to the massive size difference between a car or truck and a bike and human being. Proving fault when a pedestrian or cyclist is struck can be a little more challenging due to the high likelihood that the struck pedestrian or cyclist was not able to give a statement to the police because they were taken to the hospital, whereas the uninjured driver has time to come up with an uncontested story absolving him or herself of guilt.
Traumatic brain injuries are common when the injured party is a pedestrian or cyclist, often obscuring the victim’s memory of what happened leading up to the collision. Passengers in collisions also have a right to seek damages from the negligent party, even if that person is a friend who was driving the car in which they were riding.
After a collision with another vehicle, getting hit by a vehicle, or if you are injured and insured by ICBC, you must contact ICBC and report the claim as soon as possible. The collision should also be reported to the police even if you and the other party do not believe that there was any property damage or injuries on either side. Sometimes damages and injuries reveal themselves days later.
After you have reported the collision to ICBC and provided the bare minimum of information, such as the other driver’s contact information, you should talk to a lawyer before following up with an ICBC claims adjuster. This is important because anything you say or don’t say to the adjuster can be used against you to lower the compensation of your claim. Even if you are a policyholder with ICBC, they do not have to act in your best interest. In fact, ICBC may even blame you for causing the collision so they do not have to pay a third-party liability claim. For these reasons and more, it is in your best interest to first talk with an attorney before going into too much detail about your collision and injuries with an ICBC claims adjuster.
The cost of a serious traffic collision injury can be high, and you should not be responsible for paying those financial costs in addition to dealing with the injuries and trauma you have already sustained. Call the Preszler Law ICBC lawyers today for more information about how to receive the financial compensation that you deserve. Call us today at 1-844-373-8202.