Top Seven Things
Your ICBC Adjuster Might Say
#1 – “You have 24 hours to accept this offer”
Short deadlines are effective for getting results in a negotiation process. When ICBC presents you with a 24 hour deadline, their goal is to:
- Create pressure & anxiety, encouraging you to make poorly thought out decisions, and
- To prevent you from having time to seek out legal advice
If you are in negotiations with ICBC, we recommend reading our article on 24 hour offer deadlines.
#2 – “We will offer you $5,000”
ICBC makes lowball offers to take advantage of the fact that you don’t know what your claim is worth. Starting really low gives the illusion that you’ve “won” when you are able to negotiate multiple times their initial offer.
Even when ICBC quadruples their initial offer, the settlement is likely nowhere near the true value of the claim. Read here about a case where ICBC offered $8,000 and we settled for over $800,000.
#3 – “Your doctor said you will get better”
ICBC is motivated to settle your case quickly, before the full extent of your injuries has appeared. Car crash victims and their medical teams are often optimistic that a full recovery will be made. Optimism can be helpful for your recovery, and no one likes to think they may have a sustained life long debilitating injuries.
ICBC will play off your optimism and encourage you to settle your case quickly. When a claim is closed quickly, the opportunity for long-term injury compensation disappears, as well as the opportunity for you to hire a lawyer.
#4 – “You should be better by now”
Your adjuster is professional negotiator, not a medical professional. All injuries heal at varying rates, and when an adjuster tells you “you should be better by now,” it is because:
- They are bullying you into thinking your injuries are your fault, or
- They are trying to insinuate that you are faking your symptoms
Make sure that you take as much time as you need in your recovery before entering a legally binding settlement contract.
#5 – “You were injured before the crash”
Although the tone of your adjuster might suggest otherwise, previous injuries DO NOT prevent you from receiving fair compensation for new injuries. Period.
However, previous injuries require additional diligence in preserving the evidence of your injuries. If you had pre-existing injuries or conditions before a car crash, we recommend reading this article: Preserving the evidence.
#6 – “This is my last offer”
Sometimes this negotiation strategy is a bluff and other times your ICBC adjuster has reached their limit.
One thing we can guarantee is that another offer is always put on the negotiation table after you hire a lawyer.
#7 – Your adjuster might say nothing
After all this negotiation deception, silence from your adjuster sounds like a good thing. However, there are a few basic things you might wish to be informed about:
- You are entitled to a $0.50/km reimbursement for trips made to car crash injury related medical appointments
- Your injury claim should include a valuation for potential loss of capacity to earn income (read more here)
- ICBC doesn’t have the final say on the allocation of fault for your car crash (read more here)
For more depth, on each of these topics, take a look at our five part ICBC Negotiation Tactics series.
ICBC Negotiation Tactics Series:
- ICBC Negotiation Tactics: 24 hour deadlines [Part 1/5]
- ICBC Negotiation Tactics: Lowball offers [Part 2/5]
- ICBC Negotiation Tactics: Settling based on optimism [Part 3/5]
- ICBC Negotiation Tactics: Keeping you in the dark [Part 4/5]
- ICBC Negotiation Tactics: Bottom line offer [Part 5/5]
Contact Hergott Law