April 25, 2014- The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, is one of the largest auto insurance companies in Canada and if your search for a personal injury lawyer has been fruitless you need to read on.
Making an injury claim with ICBC can be confusing and frustrating. That’s why many claimants take advantage of the opportunity and hire a lawyer to work for them. Experienced personal injury lawyers will be best able to prosecute your claim effectively while you focus on your recovery.
If however you choose to go without a lawyer or cannot find a lawyer to take your case, here are a few top tips to keep in mind when making your injury claim with ICBC:
- In BC we have a unique system for personal injury compensation which includes a government created vehicle insurance company called the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. If you are an insured you can make a “no-fault” injury claim with ICBC as well as an “at fault” claim against the other driver.
- Your no fault claim with ICBC requires that you first provide ICBC with a written report of the circumstances and consequences of the car accident. This must be done within 30 days as set out as follows in the Insurance(Vehicle) Act Regulations:
“97 (1) Where an accident occurs for which benefits are provided under this Part, the insured shall
(a) promptly give the corporation notice of the accident,
(b) not later than 30 days from the date of the accident, mail to the corporation by registered mail, or deliver to the nearest claims centre of the corporation, a written report on the accident with particulars of the circumstances in which the accident occurred and the consequences of the accident…”
- Your claim for no fault benefits with ICBC also requires that within 90 days from the date of the accident you provide ICBC with a proof of claim in a form authorized by ICBC.
- Remember that ICBC is not liable to an insured who, to the prejudice of ICBC, fails to comply with section 97 of Insurance(Vehicle) Act Regulations. It is essential to talk to an injury lawyer before you think your claim is out of time because if there is no prejudice to ICBC the late delivery of a proof of claim form may not bar your right to claim the benefits.
- Your at fault claim is usually and essentially a claim of negligence. The law entitles you to be put back in the position you were in before the accident injury if the other driver is at fault for your accident related injuries.
- If the other driver is resident in BC and the vehicle is also from BC then ICBC will be the insurance company defending the other driver.
- By law the insurance company defending a personal injury lawsuit must give you the policy limit amounts of the other driver.
- There is a time limit for bringing your claim against the other driver, which is typically, but not always, two years from the date of the accident. Again, if you think you are out of time to file your lawsuit, call a lawyer immediately as their are situations, such as advance payments on a claim, that can extend or vary the limitation period.
Personal injury law is always changing and, as a personal injury lawyer, I read new cases every day and follow all the changes in legislation and policy. The value of a personal injury case can change dramatically based on changes in the law, changes in evidence, or changes in the civil rules of court, to mention but a few. Getting legal advice for your injury case requires that you actually hire a lawyer that will review the specifics of your case. Documentation and testimonial evidence are critical foundations for any case so ensure your lawyer has everything requested.
I have been a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver since 1995 and most people injured in car accidents or other personal injuries that contact me have never hired a personal injury lawyer or filed an injury claim with an auto insurance company. What many people do not know is that you can talk to a lawyer for free after your accident and that many lawyers will agree to take your case with no up front fees.
Learn more about making an ICBC claim, if you haven’t found a lawyer, by watching our short video:
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn Holness, B.A., LL.B.