A very common question asked by injured claimants is “what is my ICBC claim worth“?
The answer is almost always the same – it depends.
Generally, it takes time after a motor vehicle accident to understand injuries. It could be months or even years before the full extent of injuries are understood. This is often due to a variety of factors. You may have one main injury that you are focused on at beginning so you do not notice other injuries you may have suffered. Your symptoms may appear to be soft tissue at first, but when they are not resolving as expected, your doctor may decide to look into things further such as through imaging (MRI, x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan) where the wait time is lengthy. Your doctor may also be concerned about the types of symptoms you have which may necessitate a referral to a specialist which, like imaging, can takes months or even years to take place.
You should wait until you are fully recovered BEFORE you settle with ICBC. One important consideration in terms of the amount of compensation you are entitled to is the length of recovery. If you settle too early with ICBC, your settlement will not take into consideration ongoing symptoms or problems you may face down the road.
If you do not fully recover despite following all recommended types of treatment, then it is important that you find out from a doctor whether or not your injuries are permanent BEFORE settling with ICBC. This is because an early settlement with ICBC will not compensate you for a lifetime of chronic pain.
You also want to be back at work and your regular activities without any restriction BEFORE settling with ICBC. If your injuries impact your ability to work or if there is a chance that they will in the future, then you should not rush into an early settlement as it will not compensate you for any lost wages in the future.
ICBC wants to settle early because it benefits them, NOT YOU. Early settlement is advantageous to ICBC because important information is missing such as how long your injuries will last for and the impact they will have on your life into the future. This information is vital to determining the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Without it, your claim is worth much less which is what ICBC wants.
ICBC also wants you to settle WITHOUT a lawyer. This is advantageous to ICBC because without proper training or legal knowledge, how can you be expected to understand the types of claims you are entitled to make or how much your claim is worth? ICBC’s adjusters are heavily trained making the playing field extremely unequal against you. ICBC wants the advantage of not having to deal with a lawyer advocating for you and leveling the playing field.
Protect yourself by contacting us for a free initial consultation. We are happy to review your ICBC claim with you and, if there is enough information available, we can provide you with information about what types of claims are open to you and the amount of compensation to expect.