Can I Make an ICBC Claim Myself?
You can make an ICBC claim yourself, without the help of a lawyer. However, legal representation is often recommended, particularly if your injuries are not ‘minor’, meaning they do not resolve within a couple of months.
Making an ICBC claim without a lawyer
There is no obligation to have a lawyer when making an ICBC claim. Even if your case ends up in court, you are theoretically allowed to represent yourself. But there are many reasons why it is prudent to at least seek advice from an experienced solicitor.
Firstly, because ICBC will appoint an adjustor to work on your case. This adjustor works for ICBC, rather than you, and will know how the claims process works, how to negotiate, and how to achieve an early settlement. Unless you previously worked in the legal sector, it is unlikely that you will have this kind of knowledge and understanding, making for a very uneven playing field.
You will have to deal directly with this adjustor, taking frequent phone calls and emails. Not only can this be stressful, it can also lead to you settling your case far too early.
This is a very important point, as you must not settle your ICBC claim until you know the full extent of your injuries. ICBC will typically offer a settlement shortly after the accident, and it can be tempting to accept, but it may not be in your interests to do so. In the majority of cases, it is best to wait until all the evidence has been collected and a prognosis for your injuries confirmed.
Otherwise, you might agree to compensation for two months of pain and suffering, when in fact your injuries last a whole year. This would leave you without the correct amount of compensation, which can in turn result in financial difficulties, especially if you are unable to return to work. If you realize that you have settled your ICBC claim for too little, it may possible to increase your compensation, but it is not easy and will involve litigation through the courts.
Negotiating an early settlement is just one of the tactics that is often used by ICBC, and if you are not using a lawyer, you need to be prepared for this. Another tactic ICBC might use is to delay your claim so that it falls foul of the strict time limits in place.
Using a lawyer for an ICBC claim
The only time you might not need a lawyer is if your injuries really are very minor and you are confident that you have 100% recovered. In such cases, it may be prudent to settle early on.
But as a general rule of thumb, the more serious your injuries are, the more important it is to have a solicitor acting on your behalf. Unlike the ICBC adjustor, a solicitor is there to represent your best interests and to get the compensation you rightfully deserve. This will remove the burden from your shoulders and will guarantee that you get all the damages you are entitled to – including any medical and wage loss benefits.
Therefore a solicitor will be able to –
- Deal directly with ICBC, meaning you do not have to
- Get a proper medical assessment of your injuries and confirm the extent of your injuries
- Get the medical treatment and assistance you need
- Calculate the compensation you are legally entitled to receive
- Negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
- Obtain other benefits that you might not realize you are eligible for
ICBC claim solicitors
If you are looking for a solicitor to help you with an ICBC claim, please do not hesitate to contact us at John Mickelson Law Corporation. Either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.Go back to Blog