Through our years of experience as car accident lawyers in Vancouver and the surrounding area, we have noticed a few common misconceptions about car accident claims. When it comes to motor vehicle accident claims, knowledge is power: the more you know about the ICBC claims process, the better you will fare in terms of assistance while recovering from your injuries and the final cash payout for your claim.
As leading Vancouver car accident lawyers, we want to empower people injured in motor vehicle accidents, so we decided to share our top five facts about automobile claims in British Columbia. 1. If you have been injured in a serious accident, you should have legal representation. Some people who have been injured in a car accident believe that they can represent themselves. It’s true, they can. But if your injuries are serious, if you have missed work, or if you need treatment to recover from your injuries, your interests are better protected by working with an experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer. A car accident lawyer can guide you through the ICBC claim process and has the knowledge to build a strong legal and medical case for you. 2. There are important deadlines – if you miss those deadlines, you may lose the chance to make a claim. In British Columbia, the deadline for bringing a law suit is two years from the date of the car accident. There are exceptions in certain cases which may make the period shorter, such as claims against a city or town. The period may be longer in the case of minors or those suffering from a disability. There are also deadlines for notifying ICBC about specific types of claims (e.g., involving a hit and run). If you have been injured, call a car accident lawyer in Vancouver as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss any important deadlines. 3. You do not have to accept a settlement offer from ICBC. Insurance companies want to keep settlement payouts low. An ICBC adjuster may make a settlement offer soon after the accident and in an amount that does not reflect the seriousness of the injuries. An injured person who does not know their legal rights may feel obligated to accept that offer. If you work with a Vancouver car accident lawyer from one of our offices, we will deal with ICBC for you; we know that settlement should not be negotiated until your injuries have settled and there has been a full assessment of the value of your claim. 4. You may be entitled to a number of types of compensation. People who have been injured in a car accident, especially serious accidents, do not often know that they may be entitled to several types of compensation. An experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer knows how to quantify all the ways the accident has affected your life and can seek the full amount of compensation from ICBC for claims including:
Non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering
Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
Past wage loss
Future loss of earning capacity
Cost of future care
Loss of housekeeping services
Tax gross up and management fees
Costs and disbursements.
5. You do not need to pay upfront to hire a quality Vancouver car accident lawyer. In personal injury cases, the lawyer is usually paid a contingency fee. A contingency fee is calculated on the basis of the amount of money recovered for the injured person. Our Vancouver car accident lawyers deal with personal injury claims on a contingency basis. That means you can reap the benefit of our experience and knowledge without paying up front, and if you don’t receive compensation from ICBC, we do not receive a fee. Contact our quality Vancouver car accident lawyers today to discuss your claim.