Will A Lawyer Advice You About Settling Your ICBC Claim?
Often being involved in an accident means that you’ll need to come to a settlement at some point. And coming to a settlement with an ICBC claim will be a big decision in your life. You may be pressured to come to a settlement faster than you are ready. This is because ICBC is known for wanting to settle a claim quickly. It benefits them to close files early to save on defense and administration costs. It also means, in most cases, that an earlier settlement is a lower payment.
Do not feel rushed into making your claim. Once you make the claim, that is it. You will no longer be entitled to additional compensation from ICBC. To ensure this, ICBC will request you sign a release clearly stating that once the settlement has been accepted, you will no longer be able to request a further compensation.
It’s common for more severe injuries not to show up immediately after an accident. If you settle for a claim too early, you will not be compensated for the more severe injuries that could show up later after you’ve settled and signed the release form from ICBC. There is an extremely small chance of getting the courts to overlook a release form like this to continue forward with your ICBC claim, however this doesn’t happen very often and you should not count on this as your backup plan.
The earliest you should consider settling your ICBC claim is when you have largely recovered from your injuries and are back to your pre-accident level of work and activities. Sometimes, doctors will say you’ll recover within a few months based on an initial assessment of injuries, and this is what claimants use to settle. But it’s possible that you do not recover fully within that period of time, and if you settle, you will get less compensation than you deserve.
If you feel that you must settle before you are fully recovered, look into the options of settling before you are recovered as long as it’s legally arranged that ICBC will pay for the future problems you experience that are related to the incident. ICBC will be resistant to doing this because they rarely pay a claim based on ongoing future problems. ICBC Lawyers in Richmond can make this more likely but it can still be difficult to get ICBC to agree to this.
Sometimes the amount ICBC will pay out is capped. As of April 1, 2019, claims considered a minor injury by the ICBC will cap the compensation for pain and suffering at $5,500. ICBC will prefer most claims be considered minor since it costs the company less. Progression of injuries will not be considered and you will not be covered for continual wage loss.