How to Make an ICBC Claim
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia? If so, follow the steps below to make an ICBC claim.
5 steps to making an ICBC claim
1. Report your accident
The first step is to report your accident to ICBC. You should do this within 24 to 48 hours, or your ability to claim benefits may be compromised. You can call ICBC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or you can report the accident online.
If possible, speak to a personal injury lawyer first. Your lawyer can then report the claim for you. If you do not want to use a lawyer, or you do not have time to hire one, you must contact ICBC yourself.
If you speak to ICBC, be very careful about what you say. The call will be recorded and can be used against you later down the line. Do not admit fault or say anything else that will incriminate you.
2. Speak to an ICBC adjuster
An ICBC adjuster will be assigned to your case and will contact you to make an appointment. Typically, the adjuster will request that you meet in person so that a written statement can be taken from you. However, you are under no obligation to meet with an adjuster. You can write, sign and submit your own written statement.
If you have instructed an ICBC claims lawyer, he/she can prepare a statement on your behalf. If an ICBC adjuster does contact you, simply pass on your lawyer’s details and provide no further information.
The adjuster will proceed to investigate your accident. They will decide who was at fault for the accident and the level of injuries you have sustained. If you disagree with their decision, you can take the matter to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
3. Apply for Part 7 benefits
To claim Part 7 benefits, you must provide written notice of the accident within 30 days. You must also provide a proof of claim form within 90 days.
Part 7 benefits are available to all those with ICBC coverage, regardless of who was to blame for the accident. These benefits cover things such as medical treatment, lost wages and funeral expenses, up to a certain amount.
If you have a private insurance policy, you must use this cover first, before claiming Part 7 benefits. If ICBC says you are not entitled to Part 7 benefits (partially or at all) and you disagree, you can take the matter to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
4. Meet with an estimator
If your vehicle has suffered damage and the accident was not your fault, you can make a vehicle damage claim. An estimator will assess your vehicle and estimate the cost of repair. If you agree with the estimator, you will be asked to sign a release.
You can then get your vehicle fixed. ICBC will cover the cost, although you may have to pay a deductible. Remember that once you sign the release, you cannot request further money for repairs.
5. Make a personal injury claim
If the accident was not your fault, you can also make a personal injury claim, also known as a tort claim. If you want to do this, you should instruct a Vancouver personal injury lawyer to manage the process for you.
You have two years to make a personal injury claim. The purpose is to provide greater compensation for your pain, suffering and out-of-pocket expenses. Normally, you will deal with ICBC for both your Part 7 benefits claim and your personal injury claim.
Speak to an ICBC claims lawyer
If you are making an ICBC claim, you do not have to use a lawyer. However, it is highly recommended. Otherwise, you may inadvertently say or do something that negatively impacts your case. This can result in a reduced settlement or even a denial of your claim.
When you use a lawyer, you do not have to communicate with ICBC, lifting a weight from your shoulders. An experienced lawyer also knows how to maximise your chances of success, ensuring you get the outcome you are entitled to.