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FAQ: Working Through an ICBC Claim

When is the right time to settle my claim?

When you are injured, the recovery process can take several years. It is not advised to settle a personal injury claim until your are well into the recovery stage of your injuries and therefore able to estimate the lifelong impact of your injury. In order to receive fair compensation, your claim might be open for more than a year or two.

 

What are the basic steps or stages of an ICBC claim?

Recovery is the most important step in your personal injury claim. For a detailed list of what to expect, we invite you to read this article outlining the process:

 

What is an Examination for Discovery?

An Examination for Discovery is a formal interview by the lawyer of the insurance company. You are asked questions, similar to in an interview, and your answers go on official record. There are no wrong answers as long as you are being truthful.

 

What should I do at the scene of a crash?

Preserve the evidence. It is important to document as much information as you can by taking pictures, getting witness details and exchanging insurance information. Talking to a lawyer before you talk to ICBC is the best way to ensure that you are treated fairly, and are given accurate information about your legal rights.

 

What are the consequences of a “formal offer”?

A “formal offer” is an official offer made by the insurance company. The car crash victim has the option of accepting the offer, or taking the insurance company to court. If the decision made by the courts is an amount higher than the formal offer, the insurance company pays legal costs. On the contrary, if the amount determined at trial is less than the formal offer, the car crash victims is responsible for legal costs. Formal offers are used to too many cases from going to court.

 

What do I need to keep track of?

Personal injury claims often take several years to settle, so it is important to document your evidence instead of relying your memory. These articles help explain how vigilantly you should be documenting the evidence of your injuries:

 

What is a limitation period?

Lawsuits have an “expiration” date for how long you have to file them. The limitation period depends on the type of lawsuit and the age of the person involved, but for personal injury claims, the limitation is generally two years.

 

Why does it feel like I am the one on trial?

The insurance company lawyers are tasked with challenging your personal injury claim and paying out as little financial compensation as possible. This can get personal when they scour through the details of your medical records to find inconsistencies that may reduce your claim. Your best defence is to be honest and open with your lawyer.

 

Can ICBC force me to see a specialist that they have hired?

If you refuse to accept a medical examination, it will be documented and used against your case. While you reserve the right to refusal, denying a medical examination will reduce your likelihood of achieving fair compensation.

You might feel uncomfortable visiting a specialist hired by ICBC because the specialist has essentially been hired to discredit your injury claims. It is important to go into what is called a Defence Medical Examination (DME) prepared:

 

What is a mediation when dealing with an ICBC claim?

A mediation is an alternative to going to court. The two opposing sides sit down with a unbiased mediator who assists in achieving a fair settlement. This is a great alternative to the costly and stressful decision to go to court.

 

How important are my doctors’ and therapists’ clinical notations?

Your medical records are incredibly important because your medical team is your biggest advocate. Not only are their notations essential for documenting your injuries, but they are necessary for documenting your recovery.

Often patients do not feel the need to visit their doctors as their injuries recover. However, it is important to keep your medical team informed all throughout your recovery so that they can make informed treatment recommendations and provide educated opinions when requested from the insurance company.

 

Do I have to let ICBC see my medical records?

Yes. Your complete medical history is required when making a personal injury claim.

 

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