Figuring out the inner workings of the ICBC settlement process can be a confusing and daunting task for many personal injury victims. However, knowing what to expect in advance can help simplify things and make the process a little less stressful. If you find it impossible to deal with ICBC claims, or if your loved one or yourself are injured and need legal help, you should make sure to get all the attention and care that you require in this difficult time.
A law firm can be a big help during this process, as they can handle all the paperwork and negotiations for you. However, it’s important to understand that there are some things you’ll need to do on your own in order to get the most out of your settlement.
You also need to ensure that the law firm you choose is one that has experience with ICBC vehicle accident claims. This will have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Get in touch with our team today here at Gertsoyg & Company for more information.
All About the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
ICBC is a provincial government-owned automobile insurer in British Columbia. The company provides basic and optional insurance coverage to all drivers in the province.
ICBC is a no-fault insurer, which means that your own insurance company will pay for your damages regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This system is designed to simplify the claims process and minimize the amount of time it takes to get your claim resolved.
What Are the Factors That Could Potentially Impact ICBC Payouts and Settlements
There are a number of factors that can impact the amount of money that you receive from ICBC in a settlement. Some of these factors include:
The Severity of Your Injuries
The more serious your injuries are, the more money you’re likely to receive in a settlement. This is because your medical bills and future treatment costs will be higher.
Whether or not You Were at Fault for the Accident
If you were partially or completely at fault for the accident, it will impact how much money you receive in a settlement.
If you have a lawyer representing you, they will be able to negotiate a higher settlement amount on your behalf.
The Amount of Medical Treatment You Require
If you require extensive medical treatment, it will likely increase the value of your settlement.
Older drivers may receive lower settlements than younger drivers because of their shorter life expectancy. But the Golden Years Doctrine sometimes applied by B.C. courts stipulates that an individual’s payout should not be limited due to age.
Loss of Income
If you have had to take time off work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to receive compensation for this lost income.
Pain and Suffering
If you’ve suffered mental stress or experienced embarrassment as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to the pain and suffering award. This is an award that is given to victims who have experienced physical or psychological pain and suffering as a result of their accident.
If you will require future medical treatment or assistance as a result of your injuries, you may be able to receive additional funds in your settlement.
The Degree of Disability
If you have been left with a permanent disability as a result of the accident, you may be eligible for additional funds.
Previous Health Problems
If you had medical problems before the accident, it may negatively affect the compensation you get. For example, if you had a back injury before the accident, and the new injury exacerbates the old injury, you may not be able to receive compensation for both injuries.
What to Expect During The ICBC Settlement Process
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may need to file a claim with ICBC. Once your claim has been filed, an adjuster will be assigned to your case. This adjuster will be responsible for investigating the accident and determining who is at fault. They will also assess the damages and determine how much money you are entitled to receive.
But in order for you to have a solid case, there’s a process you should follow, starting immediately after the accident;
- Call 911: The first thing you should do after an accident is call 911. This will ensure that the police and ambulance will be dispatched to the scene.
- Get Medical Care: You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is important not only for your health, but also for your case. You will need to have documentation of your injuries in order to receive compensation.
- Get Your Accident Report: You can obtain a copy of your accident report from the police department. This report will contain important information about the accident, such as the date, time, and location. It will also list the drivers involved and their insurance companies.
- Inform ICBC: You must inform ICBC of the accident within 30 days. You can do this by filling out an accident report form or contacting them by phone.
- Get Your Car Fixed: Once you’ve reported the accident to ICBC, you can take your car to an ICBC-approved body shop to get it repaired.
- File for No-Fault Benefits: With your Basic Autoplan cover, you are entitled to certain no-fault benefits, such as medical and rehabilitation costs, wage loss benefits, as well as death and funeral benefits. You can file for these benefits by filling out a No-Fault Benefits Application form.
- File a Tort Claim Against the Other Party: If another driver was at fault in the accident, you can file a tort claim against them. This will allow you to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
- Get Medical Clearance: It is advisable to wait for medical clearance before accepting any compensation from ICBC. At the early stage, you may not be fully aware of the long-term consequences of your injuries.
- Contact a Lawyer: You should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will be able to help guide you through the process, ensure that your rights are protected, and negotiate higher compensation.
- Start Settlement Negotiations: Once your lawyer has gathered all the necessary information, they will begin settlement negotiations with ICBC. The goal of these negotiations is to reach a fair and equitable settlement that accurately reflects the damages you have suffered.
- Prepare For Trial: If negotiations fail, your lawyer will file a lawsuit and take the case to trial. This is a costly and time-consuming process, so it is important to have a strong case.
- Give Mediation a Chance: Many times, the parties will choose to go through mediation in order to avoid a lengthy and costly trial. This is a process where both sides meet with a mediator to try and reach a settlement. If successful, the mediator will draft an agreement that both parties must sign.
- The Trial: If mediation fails, the case will go to trial. This is a lengthy and complex process, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side.
The settlement process can be long and complicated. But if you follow the steps above, you’ll be on your way to receiving the compensation you deserve.
An Experienced Law Firm Will Make a Difference On the Outcome of Your Case
When it comes to ICBC settlements, you need a law firm that has the experience and knowledge that the process requires. At Gertsoyg & Company, we have been helping our clients with their ICBC claims for many years. We know what it takes to build a strong case and get the best settlement possible. Contact us today at [phone] for a free initial consultation.