ICBC Settlement Claims FAQ
First and foremost, see your family doctor. It's crucial to have a medical expert document your injuries.
Second, contact a lawyer who has experience in helping people who have been injured in car accidents.
2. I already took my car to ICBC for damage assessment. ICBC said the company would look after everything. So why should I hire a car accident lawyer?
ICBC is an insurance company and ICBC insurance adjusters represent that company. That means their decisions are based on policies and guidelines that are designed to provide maximum company benefits.
While ICBC adjusters are experienced and obligated to offer a fair settlement, their goal is to minimize settlement payouts. A good lawyer will represent your best interests and make sure you receive the settlement you deserve. Settlements are often higher for cases represented by a lawyer with experience handling car accident claims.
We have the training, experience, and track record to get you a fair cash settlement. Klein Lyons has a team of dedicated professionals - including lawyers, legal assistants and legal secretaries - who work exclusively on motor vehicle and personal injury cases. Our two senior partners have been representing personal injury victims for more than 20 years.
What's more, Klein Lyons only represents people who have been injured through no fault of their own. We offer an initial complimentary session. And when you decide to hire Klein Lyons, you only pay a fee once the cash settlement is received from ICBC.
Most lawyers charge by the hour. This can get expensive during a long settlement process. But Klein Lyons offers contingency fee billing. It is risk free for clients, and provides equitable compensation to the law firm. Contingency fees are based on a percentage of the settlement or award, and are not collected until a claim is settled.
The Law Society of British Columbia stipulates that for personal injury or wrongful death resulting from the use of a motor vehicle, maximum lawyer compensation is 33.33 percent of the total amount recovered. For personal injury or wrongful death not related to motor vehicle accidents, lawyer compensation is 40 percent.
ICBC is responsible for paying lost wages to people insured with ICBC at the time of their accident. When proper notice is given to ICBC for wage loss benefits, a claim will be valid where:
- The claimant was employed at the time of the accident--either working or having worked in six of the preceding 12 months.
- There is medical evidence that the claimant is suffering from total disability with respect to their pre-accident employment, or is totally disabled from similar pre-accident employment.
- ICBC Wage Loss Benefits amount to 75 percent of pre-accident earnings to a maximum of $300 per week. If these payments don't fully compensate for lost income, you can also claim for these damages against the offending driver. In many cases, lost wage damages are paid at the conclusion of a claim.
6. I went to a doctor a few days after my car accident because of pain. Is there anything else I should be doing?
Once you have met with your lawyer, he/she will advise you on the procedures to follow. Generally, ongoing medical care is key to recovery. Your family doctor may recommend special assessments or treatments. Follow the advice of your doctor in a timely manner.
Many factors are considered when evaluating the validity of an ICBC claim. The two greatest factors include the circumstances surrounding your accident and the nature of your injuries. You should make a decision only after consulting with a lawyer and obtaining advice on the merits of your case.
The value of assessing a claim takes time and evidence has to be gathered on many issues. Several factors affect the value of a claim, including:
- Whether you were totally or partially responsibility for the accident.
- The nature and extent of your physical and emotional injuries.
- The amount and course of treatment for your accident injuries.
- Whether or not you will be left with total or partial disability as a result of your injuries.
- The nature of pre-accident employment and income.
- The length of time it took you to return to work and the ability to return to the same level of pre-accident employment.
- The costs of treatment.
Klein Lyons has a very low ratio of cases that actually go to court. We work hard to settle cases through negotiation or mediation. However, if your case can't be settled, there will be a trial and you must attend. You will be well represented by the Klein Lyons team.
Personal injury means you have been hurt through no fault of your own. Common examples include slipping, falling, bicycle and pedestrian accidents. If you feel you have sustained bodily injury through no fault of your own, call Klein Lyons for a free consultation.