Do not do the following when settling with ICBC: (1) Hold back your treatment expenses; (2) Agree to repay your employer’s insurance company after the settlement; (3) Put an inappropriate value on your case; and (4) provide unnecessary and irrelevant documents.
You should know that even after settlement the ICBC settlement file will stay with the Corporation indefinitely and likely for at least 10 years. The Privacy Commissioner has allowed ICBC to access your old injury claims when you are involved in another car accident, without your permission. So the documents you give to ICBC will live with ICBC for a very long time.
Be aware that any insurance company that provided you with income replacement benefits or injury benefits will likely want to be repaid at the conclusion of the case. This could amount to tens of thousands of dollars if you have been off work for a significant period of time. You may have also signed a reimbursement agreement which may require some repayment. In these cases a proper understanding of subrogation is important.
Holding back treatment expenses before settlement will mean that you will not be compensated for these expenses. ICBC will not re-open a case to pay treatment costs after a release of the claims has been signed. You should therefore ensure not that all expenses are submitted to ICBC but also that have ICBC agree to repay your extended health benefit plan at work. Submit treatment expenses to your extended health insurer before ICBC.
The value of your personal injury case should be assessed based on the facts and the applicable law. Money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life is not calculated but rather assessed and a review of the relevant case law is critical to determining the appropriate range. Cases worth $25,000 or more should be filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and not the Provincial Court.
Having an experienced legal advocate put together your settlement for you will require that you hire the lawyer earlier in the case. Get a legal consultation at the beginning of your claim not just when you think you are ready to settle.
Learn more about settling with ICBC by watching our short video: