Lawyers with experience representing car accident victims are consistently asked certain questions about insurance coverage after a car accident. Lawyers at the plaintiffs-only personal injury firm of Bronson Jones & Company LLP have extensive experience representing victims injured in motor vehicle accidents, so they know the ins-and-outs of the insurance claim process. They drew from their experience to provide answers to some common questions about insurance coverage after a car accident. Lawyers in our office are available for a free initial consultation; if you would like more information or have any specific questions about your personal injury claim, please call us at 1-855-852-5100 (toll free, 24 hours).
In a 2-Vehicle Collision, When is the Other Driver More Likely to be At-Fault? Most motor vehicle collisions occur between two motor vehicles and there is commonly one party more likely to be at-fault than the other. The other driver is more likely to be at-fault in cases where he or she:
runs a red light or stop sign;
is immediately behind you;
is distracted by a handheld device (e.g., by calling, talking, texting, retrieving or viewing info) or other matter not related to driving (e.g., eating, grooming, attending to a child or pet);
enters your lane quickly without signaling or checking the blind spot;
enters your lane head-on by crossing the centre line, sideswiping you;
is reversing a vehicle on a roadway or leaving a parking spot at a curb;
is not exercising caution appropriate for the weather or road conditions;
opens a vehicle door into traffic; or
is impaired by the influence of drugs or alcohol or is highly sleep deprived.
What is the Role of the ICBC? One of the ICBC’s roles is to provide accident benefits for injuries. Accident benefits are available to nearly everyone in British Columbia who is injured in a motor vehicle collision regardless of who is at-fault. ICBC also makes settlement payments to the individual who is not at-fault, even if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured. It is important to be aware, however, that ICBC simultaneously has a legal duty to defend the policy of insurance of the at-fault driver. This means there is a risk that ICBC may incorrectly find that you are fully or partially responsible for the accident. If fault liability is split, your insurance premium may increase if you are found to be more than 25% at-fault unless you have been claim-free for a long period. In making a determination of fault, ICBC will review the insurance coverage of all parties involved in the accident and the police reports, may visit the accident scene, consult with an estimator and look for any evidence of negligence. Should I Collect Witness Information? Many disputes are about liability, which makes the presence of witnesses an important aspect of every case. When possible, it is best to obtain the witness names and contact information yourself. DO NOT RELY ON THE POLICE TO COLLECT THIS INFORMATION FOR YOU. In certain situations it may also be helpful to retain the services of accident reconstruction experts who can help objectively establish the facts leading up to a collision (i.e., how the motor vehicle accident occurred). Additional Factors Affecting Injury Compensation The amount of compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries is also affected by the use, or failure to use, or improper use, of available safety measures. You are required to protect yourself with seatbelts, child safety restraints and headrests where applicable. How We Can Help You A highly qualified car accident lawyer is available to talk with you personally about your case. Representing vehicle accident victims is all we do. We have lawyers in our 2 Vancouver offices and 11 other Bronson Jones & Company LLP offices across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.