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CAR ACCIDENT ICBC CLAIMS
The most common types of ICBC claims occur when there is a motor vehicle accident in B.C. between two motor vehicles. Generally speaking, in a two vehicle collision, the other driver is more likely to be at fault in ICBC claims where he or she:
- cuts into your lane quickly, without signaling or shoulder checking;
- runs a stop sign or red light;
- hits you while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- hits you head-on in your own lane;
- rear ends you
It is important to arrange for a free consultation with Veale Law as soon as possible after your accident, as there may be certain scenarios that will complicate your ICBC claims:
- you may have specific time deadlines and limitation periods that apply to your situation
- liability may be in dispute such as, for example, an accident in a parking lot, or at an unmarked intersection
- there may be an allegation of contributory negligence against you
- you may have been struck by an out of province driver
- you may have been struck by an uninsured driver
- you may have passengers who are under the age of 19 years old
- you may be the victim of a hit and run accident, in which case the ICBC claims procedures are different, and the onus is on you to ascertain the identity of the other driver; special time deadlines also apply
- you have serious injuries, and the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover the amount of your ICBC claim
- you are a passenger, and you may need to sue the driver of the car that you were in, which may include a family member
Regardless of the nature of the motor vehicle accident, there are various time limits and limitation periods that you must meet, or else all or part of your ICBC claims may be denied. This is another important reason to contact Veale Law as soon as possible after the accident to discuss your ICBC claims.
CYCLIST ACCIDENT ICBC CLAIMS
There may be allegations of contributory negligence against you in your ICBC claims. For example, if you are riding along a dark road at night, and are not wearing any reflective clothing. The condition of your bike will also be thoroughly examined by ICBC for any signs of defect, such as with tire pressure and breaks application. Please click here for court cases on cyclist accidents.
If you are forced to take evasive action because of how another vehicle is being operated, and you are injured as a result, you may still have an ICBC claim for compensation, despite there being no actual contact between you and the motor vehicle in question. Please click here for court cases on “no impact” situations.
There may be some situations where, if you are a struck as a cyclist in the United States, you are not entitled to make an ICBC claim for accident benefits and/or personal injury damages. It is best to contact Veale Law for a free consultation under such circumstances, to know what your legal rights are.
You may also have an ICBC claim if you are a driver or passenger injured in an accident caused by a cyclist.
HIT and RUN ICBC CLAIMS
A hit and run accident occurs when you are struck by another motorist, who then leaves or flees the scene before you are able to ascertain their identity. In such circumstances, the law in B.C. allows you to make an ICBC injury claim. Every B.C. resident, even if you don’t own or insure a vehicle, is covered for up to $200,000 under Section 24 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act if the hit and run accident occurs in B.C on a “highway”. If you have Underinsured Motorist Protection through your basic Autoplan, this may apply as well, if your damages are more than $200,000.
It is important to note that the hit and run accident must occur on a “highway” in B.C. The legislative definitions of “highway” in Section 1 of the Transportation Act, and Section 1 of the Motor Vehicle Act, are fortunately quite broad:
- all public streets, roads, trails, lanes, bridges, trestles, tunnels, ferry landings and approaches, and any other public way
- every road, street, lane, or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles
- every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited, but does not include an industrial road.
If you are the victim of a hit and run accident in B.C., it is important to arrange for a free consultation with Veale Law to discuss your ICBC claim, as there are certain actions you must perform, or you may lose your right to make an ICBC claim. You must notify the police of the accident within 48 hours of the accident with respect to property damage, and must also immediately report the accident to ICBC. You also need to provide written notification to ICBC within six months of the accident, but preferably much sooner. If you do not, your ICBC claim may be dismissed. You must also make reasonable efforts to ascertain the identity of the driver and owner that struck you, or your ICBC claims can be dismissed. This can include making efforts to ascertain the license plate, trying to find witnesses immediately after the accident if you are able to, speaking to merchants and residents in the area, posting signs at the scene asking for witnesses, posting online ads, and posting an ad in the newspaper. It is also important in your hit and run ICBC claims that your injuries are documented as soon as possible, in order to maximize the potential value of your ICBC settlement amounts and ICBC payouts.
If you are a B.C. resident, and are the victim of a hit and run outside of B.C., the amount you are covered for can vary, depending on the jurisdiction where you were injured.
If you reside outside of B.C., and are the victim of a hit and run accident in B.C., then, pursuant to Section 24(12)(b), the compensation in your ICBC claim is limited to what a B.C. resident could recover under the same circumstances from a similar fund in the jurisdiction in which you reside.
In the United States and certain parts of Canada, there must be actual physical contact between you and the vehicle, or between your vehicle and the other vehicle, for Underinsured Motorist Protection to be applicable. The accident must also occur on a “highway”.
Depending on what Province or State where the hit and run accident occurred, there can be different definitions of what constitutes someone who is “insured”. It is best to contact Veale Law to see if you are entitled to make an ICBC claim.
INFANT ICBC CLAIMS
When a person under the age of 19 suffers an injury, and wishes to bring an ICBC claim, the matter is complicated because of the involvement of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. The infant cannot simply enter into a settlement with ICBC, and then receive the ICBC settlement funds at the conclusion of their ICBC claims. The infant must be represented by a parent or guardian when dealing with a plaintiff ICBC injury lawyer. Further, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee must approve any ICBC settlement amount, and any settlement funds as a result of ICBC claims have to be held by the Public Guardian and Trustee until the infant reaches 19 years of age.
Where the award for pain and suffering in ICBC claims is less than $50,000, the procedures to get approval from the Office of the Pubic Guardian and Trustee are much simpler than if the award is more than $50,000. In the latter case, the matter must be heard in Court. The Court will usually approve the ICBC settlement amount, so long as the Public Guardian and Trustee does as well. If the Public Guardian and Trustee does not approve of the ICBC settlement, however, then there would be a contested application in Court.
Something to consider is that when the infant is close to the age of majority, it can sometimes be wise to wait until the infant turns 19 before making ICBC claims, so as to avoid the involvement of the Public Guardian and Trustee. This can help avoid their lack of consent to an agreement, as well as their fees and administration charges in the event that they do consent to the ICBC settlement. However, sometimes in the course of ICBC claims, ICBC’S lawyer will issue a document called a Notice to Proceed, which has the effect of forcing you to proceed, rather than waiting until the infant turns 19. The normal limitation period for an infant in ICBC claims is two years from the point they turn 19, however the Notice of Proceed shortens this period to two years from the date the Notice to Proceed is received.
LEGAL DISABILITY ICBC CLAIMS
As with infant ICBC claims, you should contact Veale Law, as these legal disability ICBC claims can sometimes be complicated, because of the involvement of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. The person who is legally disabled cannot simply enter into a settlement with ICBC and then receive the ICBC settlement funds. The person who is legally disabled must be represented by a guardian when dealing with a lawyer throughout the course of ICBC claims. Further, the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee must approve any ICBC settlement amount.
MOTORCYCLE ICBC CLAIMS
If you are riding a motorcycle, and are hit by an at-fault motorist, you can make an ICBC claim.
ICBC will of course do all they can to shift some of the blame to you, arguing for contributory negligence on your part, in order to reduce the value of your ICBC settlement amounts and ICBC payouts. For example, they may argue that you did not have a helmet on, or that you did, but that it was not proper, or not fastened properly. They will also look at things like tire pressure and the state of your tires at the time of the accident. If your tires were not properly inflated, for example, they will try to argue you were not able to brake in time to avoid the accident. They may also look at such factors as how well your lights were functioning.
PASSENGER ICBC CLAIMS
If you are the passenger of a British Columbia licensed and insured vehicle, you have the right to make ICBC claims for “no-fault” benefits, whether or not you are a resident of British Columbia.
You also have the right to make an ICBC claim against the at-fault motorist who struck you, even if you are not a resident of British Columbia.
There can also exist certain situations where you would need to sue the driver of the vehicle you were in, in order to achieve full compensation for your injuries, and to maximize the value of your ICBC settlement amounts and ICBC payouts. This would occur in the event that the driver is partially to blame for the accident. Sometimes, this can even include another family member. There is a common misconception in ICBC claims that when a passenger sues a family member or friend who was the driver, then that person will have to pay any ICBC settlement amount out of their own pocket. Assuming that the driver has insurance, then this is not the case. Depending on the driving record of the driver, insurance premiums may go up or down as a result of an ICBC settlement payout on behalf of the driver.
PEDESTRIAN ICBC CLAIMS
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents occur all too often in our society today. Given the vulnerability of a pedestrian, such accidents can lead to serious emotional and physical injury, including death.
If you are a pedestrian struck by another motorist, you may have an ICBC claim. If you are properly obeying traffic signals such as a walk signal, and you are within the boundaries of a cross walk, fault can usually be established against the at-fault person in your ICBC claim.
There may be some instances, however, in your ICBC claims where liability against the person who struck you may be more difficult to establish, for example, where you cross the street on a yellow or red light, where you cross the street on a flashing or solid hand sign, where you are outside the crosswalk, or while you are jaywalking. If you have been struck as a pedestrian, it is best to first consult with Veale Law before making any statement to ICBC.
As a pedestrian who has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, even if you are partially to blame for the accident, you may be entitled to make an ICBC claim for “no fault” benefits through ICBC for disability payments, as well as medical and rehabilitation costs. You are, of course, also entitled to make an ICBC claim for personal injury damages such as pain and suffering, and economic loss.
There may be some situations where, if you are a struck as a pedestrian in the United States, you are not entitled to make a claim for accident benefits and/or personal injury damages. It is best to arrange for a free consultation with Veale Law to know what your legal rights are.
UNDERINSURED MOTORIST ICBC CLAIMS
If you are seriously injured in an accident, and you bring an ICBC claim, then there is the possibility that the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries. In such cases, your Underinsured Motorist Protection, which is part of your basic Autoplan Policy, can kick in to help cover your ICBC claims if the other driver does not have enough insurance. Every insured motorist in B.C. has $1 million dollars of such insurance, and some may have purchased excess coverage.
It is important to note that Underinsured Motorist Protection will not apply to ICBC claims in a variety of situations, such as the following:
- Insured is an occupant of an unlicensed vehicle, unless there is a reasonable belief that it is licensed
- Insured is a driver or passenger in a vehicle without the consent of the owner, unless there is a reasonable belief that you do have such consent
- Insured is an occupant of an exempt (from insurance) vehicle
- Accident does not occur on a public highway
- Hit and run accident occurs in Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, or USA, and there is no physical contact with the hit and run vehicle
- Accident occurs in a jurisdiction that does not allow you to sue
- You sue or settle against someone without ICBC’S written agreement
UNINSURED MOTORIST ICBC CLAIMS
If you are struck by a motorist in B.C. who does not have any insurance, then you are still entitled to make an ICBC claim. Pursuant to Section 20 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, there is a $200,000 limit for anyone in B.C. injured by an uninsured motorist, even if you do not own or insure a vehicle. If you have Underinsured Motorist Protection, this may apply to your situation if the amount of your damages exceeds $200,000.
If you were injured by an uninsured motorist outside of B.C., the amount you are covered for can vary, depending on the jurisdiction where you were injured.
If you reside outside of B.C., and you were injured by an insured motorist in B.C., then, pursuant to Section 20(18), your compensation is limited to what a B.C. resident could recover under the same circumstances from a similar fund in the jurisdiction in which you reside.
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HOW WE CAN HELP
At Veale Law, we offer you a free consultation to discuss your ICBC claims, and to advise you of your legal rights and obligations. For a free consultation, call us 24 hours a day at either 604-685-2833 or toll free at 1-855-685-2833, email us at email@example.com, or fill out our free consultation form on the right.
We also offer you a legal contingency fee of 20%, the lowest in the province of British Columbia for a motor vehicle accident. On an average ICBC claim, this can save you thousands of dollars. If you have an existing offer from ICBC for your ICBC claim, and would like us to finalize your matter for you, you will not be charged a fee on the amount of your existing offer from ICBC, and our fee will only be based on any amount recovered in excess of your current ICBC settlement offer. You don’t pay us anything up front, you don’t make any payments along the way, and you don’t pay us anything until we resolve your ICBC injury claim for you. In reality, no money ever leaves your pockets, as our fee comes out of the settlement money. For your convenience, home and hospital appointments are also available.
We also serve clients throughout British Columbia, whether you are a resident of British Columbia, or a non-resident of British Columbia, that have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia.
There are many benefits to having Veale Law represent you with respect to your ICBC claims:
- Protection of your legal rights
- Explanation of your legal obligations
- Dealing with ICBC on your behalf
- Payment of disbursements on your behalf
- Explanation of what damages you can claim
- Maximization of the value of your injury claim
If you elect to have Veale Law represent you in your ICBC claim, we will do so with passion and dedication. We keep fully abreast with the current case law. We will apply our legal knowledge, experience, and skills to the facts of your case in order to achieve the best possible result for you with respect to your ICBC claims. ICBC has trained adjusters and experienced lawyers representing their interests. You need someone to protect yours.
We look forward to serving all your personal injury needs, and to getting you the justice that you so rightly deserve. Contact Veale Law now.