As a lawyer in British Columbia since 1995 I have helped in the settlement of the some the most difficult cases you can imagine with ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Here we provide information and instructions that will help steer an ICBC insurance claim in the right direction.
Best Time to Sette with ICBC
Most people know that in British Columbia there is a 2 year limitation on most negligence claims. However be aware there are several other shorter limitations for ICBC insurance claims. There are also exceptions that should be explored if the case is close to or past the two year deadline. Read our brief article about ICBC deadlines.
Process of Settling an Insurance Claims with ICBC
Usually if the case arises out of a car accident or other vehicle accident the claimant will have to settle 3 or more claims. The first claim is with ICBC as the insurance company for the claimant. Second is a negligence claim against the at fault driver. And third, an ICBC collision coverage claim to take care of the some the repair costs the to the vehicle. For more on this topic read our article about the ICBC Claim process.
Forms and Documents you will Need
An ICBC insurance claim form, CL-19 short form medical report, Certificate of Earnings, referrals for treatment, damage estimate forms, photos of the vehicle involved, statements of other drivers and witnesses, copy of extended health policies, written proof of status with Employment Insurance, and treatment reports are just a few of the documents you may need to settle your case for the right amount. Some cases of course require more or less documents, but generally speaking you will need to present proof that you are an insured making a proper claim. Read our short article about what ICBC forms you need to sign after a car accident.
Communication with the ICBC Adjuster
Don’t be surprised if the ICBC claims representative is friendly, cooperative and generally helpful. In fact ICBC may even offer you payments, when you do not have a lawyer, that they are not required to pay. This is all with the goal of settling your case for much less and internal cost savings in not having to hire a lawyer to defend the claim.
If the insurance adjuster is being difficult and not paying benefits, unless you get a lawyer, you will have to speak with the Manager overseeing that adjuster. Check out some of the more common ICBC insurance adjuster excuses for denying or delaying claims.
Here are three important rules to follow when dealing with an ICBC adjuster: 1. always have paper support for anything you say, 2. do not discuss your personal life not relevant to the case- no chit chat, and 3. Never exaggerate or underestimate your injuries.
Final Settlement and ICBC Release of all Claims
Be prepared to settle all your claims with ICBC and against the other driver. If the other driver has been charged with an offence ICBC , may require your cooperation in any legal proceeding as a condition of settlement.
Settlements are meant to be final so it is very hard, often not possible, to have a court overturn a settlement with ICBC. Final is final. Watch our short video about Settling an ICBC Claim.
If you are thinking about getting a lawyer DO NOT make an offer to settle with ICBC until you have spoken with a lawyer. Claimants can seriously prejudice cases by making unreasonable high or low offers early in a claim. If you have taken the time to read this article you should consider speaking to a lawyer free of charge before taking the next step in your case.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn. A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.