What ICBC’s Dial A Claim Won’t Do For YouOct 12 2018
Every vehicle in British Columbia must carry basic insurance through the provincial insurance provider, ICBC. When you’re involved in an accident, you’re required to report it (“file a claim”) to ICBC. You can do this via phone or online through their website. ICBC also makes its own internal determination regarding fault, which may also have an impact on how much you may be entitled to receive in benefits and/or compensation. Since there can be other factors involved when determining fault, you should consider hiring a lawyer, especially one who has significant experience in personal injury law.
A personal injury lawyer will notify ICBC that you are seeking damages for injuries, lost wages, repairs, and other monies that may be due to you because of the accident. When you file a claim through ICBC, you’ll need the same information that you would also provide to a personal injury lawyer, including:
- The license plate of each vehicle involved in the accident;
- The driver’s license number of each driver;
- The insurance information for each vehicle;
- Police file number, if one exists; and
- The repair facility where your car is located if it is not drivable.
The claims process, whether by phone or online, does not require you to provide insurance information if the other driver is insured by ICBC. However, you should have that information on hand for reference.
ICBC covers basic medical benefits for injuries that are immediate and obvious. (It can also cover wage-loss assistance and repairs to your vehicle.) Keep in mind though that many injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, may not show up until days or even weeks after an accident. That’s why basic medical benefits aren’t often sufficient as the payments are usually the minimum, established by out of date tariffs and short-term in nature. In many cases, injuries can have significant impact on your health and can even affect your ability to perform on the job. It’s these cases where a personal injury lawyer can collect the necessary evidence and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive a settlement that will take these factors into account.
If you’re found to be at fault, ICBC will pay your medical rehabilitation benefits if you file a claim. However, it may not always accurately determine if the other driver or drivers were wholly or partially at fault. For this, you will be well-served with a competent personal injury lawyer who can investigate the accident on your behalf. Even if ICBC determines the other driver is partially at fault for the accident, it may not get the percentage correct. Depending on how fault is determined and assigned can affect how much you will be paid. Typically, insurance providers will attempt to settle a claim for the least amount possible.
Medical benefits from ICBC include ambulance services, medication, chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy and registered massage therapy. However, you may also suffer from loss of wages, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment due to the negligence of the other driver. ICBC may not always take that into consideration or may offer a settlement amount that is less than what you are entitled to. A personal injury lawyer will work to ensure that you receive sufficient benefits and compensation, especially if the other driver was negligent in his or her actions, including driving while distracted or driving under the influence.
Contact RDM Lawyers
If you have been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, contact RDM Lawyers to help you file a claim through ICBC. Our lawyers will also investigate and pursue on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.