9 Important Steps To Take After A Motor Vehicle Accident In BC
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia, you most probably will find yourself filing a claim with ICBC. When ICBC was first enacted in 1974, it was to provide standardized coverage and protect all British Colombians with protection under a basic level of insurance coverage. But over the years, the ICBC claims process has shown itself to be complex and compensation under its basic plan inadequate for many injuries sustained in an accident. That is why many people seek the advice of a Richmond personal injury lawyer after an accident.
There are several mistakes you don’t want to make when filing a claim with ICBC. If you take care to follow a few simple rules, you will be in a better position to reach a fair settlement with ICBC after an accident.
Call the Police
Don’t rely on the ICBC adjuster to determine fault after the accident. Let the experts do that at the scene. Make sure to get a copy of the police report so you can file it with your claim.
Get Personal Information From All Involved
You will want to get as much information as possible from the others involved in the accident as well as witnesses. You want to get the name, number, license plate number, and full vehicle description of anyone who is involved in the accident and any witnesses who may have seen it.
Compile Any Evidence
After an accident, the more information and evidence you have, the better your position will be if you need to prove you were not at fault. Your percentage of fault will have a great impact on the settlement you get so this is of the utmost importance. Take photos and make notes of exactly what happened and what the conditions surrounding the accident were. Memory has a way of fading after time so you want to chronicle everything about the accident when it is fresh in everyone’s mind.
Make Sure to Get Medical Care
After an accident, you may not feel that you are injured. But in the case of many injuries, symptoms don’t always express themselves immediately. You are better off seeing your family physician after an accident and following all advice that he or she gives you.
File a Claim as Soon as Possible
You should report your accident to ICBC as soon as reasonably possible to file a claim. Although you have a two year time period in order to pursue a tort claim, you will want to get the claim in process as soon as possible.
Don’t Volunteer Too Much Information
Always be mindful of what you say to ICBC. You never know if what you inadvertently say could be used against you.
Apply for Employment Insurance as Soon as Possible
If you aren’t able to work because of your injuries, you will want to file for medical employment insurance as soon as possible.
Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer
You want to be very careful that the settlement you are getting is sufficient for your recovery and expenses after an accident. In most cases, the first settlement will be lower than you will need.
Get Legal Advice
Before you accept any settlement with ICBC, you should get the advice of a personal injury lawyer. At Barapp Law Firm, we can guide you through the ICBC claims process and represent your legal rights after an accident. Call us for a complimentary consultation to understand how legal representation can be beneficial after an accident.