Insurance of British Columbia Claims

Making an ICBC claim

Do not do anything until you have spoken to a lawyer

At Delta Law Office, we know exactly what ICBC’s methods are to help themselves avoid paying you what you may deserve. You need a Lawyer who is experienced in ICBC claims and who will help guide you to achieve the settlement you’re owed.

Without a Lawyer to protect you from ICBC, ICBC will note everything you say from your first contact onwards. There may be items that are misunderstood on either end, or taken out of context. There may end up being errors that are difficult to correct later, and you need to know your rights before you start talking to ICBC.

Let the lawyers and staff at Delta Law Office put our knowledge and experience to work for you so that you receive the compensation that you deserve for your ICBC claim. Call the Delta Law Office at 604-946-2199 first!

Advice for ICBC claims

When you have been injured in a car accident and need to make an ICBC claim, legal advice early in the claim process is very important to ensure that you are taking the steps required by law and ICBC to protect your rights. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your case for an ICBC claim and your options. We also accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means that you pay us no fee unless we collect for you.

We offer home, hospital and evening visits within the Delta area. Just call our office at 604-946-2199 to make an appointment.

Our dedicated team has extensive experience representing clients regarding motor vehicle collisions and personal injury claims involving whiplash, fractures, brain injury, quadriplegia, paraplegia, spinal cord injuries, amputations and wrongful death. Our highly experienced team has the knowledge, skill and insight to provide you with the assistance you need to overcome the trauma of being injured and to receive the settlement you deserve. We will ensure you receive access to the necessary support systems that will assist you with your recovery. Our legal team will work diligently with our network of medical and professional experts to help you receive the best possible compensation for your injuries.

In some cases, various experts might have to be consulted to provide the level of evidence needed to maximize your settlement. We have the resources to cover all of the necessary costs to pursue your claim to ensure that you receive the best possible compensation.

We will keep you informed of all-important developments in your case as they happen and we will represent you in every step of the process whether that involves settlement negotiations or if it goes to trial.

Top 10 reasons to choose DLO

  • Our reputation
  • You will be dealing with a law firm that has earned a reputation for being approachable, easy to talk to, and a firm where you are not treated as just a file number.

  • Free consultation
  • Your first consultation is free and can take place at one of our offices, your home, a neighborhood coffee shop, or a hospital if you are bed-ridden.

  • No retainer (upfront money)
  • We work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don't pay anything to start your case and you don't pay our legal fees until your case is concluded. Instead, our legal fees are based on a percentage of the amount you recover from ICBC or another insurer.

  • Expenses
  • In most cases, our office will handle the expenses involved in starting and running a personal injury lawsuit (called disbursements). Typically this includes necessary expenses like filing court documents, hiring expert witnesses, or conducting vehicle searches, etc. We cover the cost of these items for you and wait to collect them from the settlement/court awarded funds. The BC Supreme Court Rules allow for the recovery of most (but not all) disbursements from ICBC as part of the settlement of a personal injury claim. If you have questions about disbursements, please ask your lawyer and they will be pleased to answer them. Wherever possible, we will seek to recover disbursements from ICBC (or other insurer) as part of the resolution to your case.

  • Treatment
  • DLO can cover necessary treatment costs for you in certain circumstances on a case-by-case basis if ICBC will not cover them.

  • Medical knowledge
  • As the result of handling countless cases over the years, we have considerable experience dealing with the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis for all kinds of injuries. Knowledge of the various aspects of each type of injury is essential to bringing your case to a successful conclusion. Our history of handling motor vehicle injury cases helps ensure that if ICBC or another insurance company disputes your claim, the extent of your injuries, your symptoms, or their effect on your future, these things will not be minimized before a mediator, judge, or judge and jury.

  • We stay in touch
  • Our ICBC staff is always easy to reach by either phone to 604-946-2199 or email to graham@deltalawoffice.com or rauni@deltalawoffice.com.

  • Updates
  • In our experience, certain law firms will agree to handle your file but then you may not hear anything from your lawyer or other firm staff for months or even years. At DLO we are committed to staying in touch with you and hearing about your current condition on a regular basis.

  • Team approach
  • You will have the benefit of a team of lawyers and paralegals who work on your case. You will be assigned a paralegal who will be available to answer your questions when your lawyer is not available due to court or discovery obligations.

  • No pressure
  • While we will provide you with advice about when it is a good time to settle your claim, we will always proceed with your file at your own pace.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How can discussions with my doctor affect my ICBC claim?

    Two of the most important aspects of your Insurance of British Columbia claim are what your doctor tells you and what you tell your doctor. When another driver causes you to suffer injuries or other losses, Insurance of British Columbia is required to make things right by compensating you for your injuries and losses.  However, you are also required to take reasonable steps to minimize those injuries and losses.  For example, if you suffer a back injury, your doctor might refer you for 12 sessions of physiotherapy.  If you choose not to act on that referral but complain of back pain a year later, there’s a good chance that Insurance of British Columbia will argue that you are largely responsible for that continuing back pain since it probably could have been avoided by undergoing the treatment that your doctor had recommended to you. Ultimately Insurance of British Columbia will not be on the hook for persistent injuries that would have resolved had you followed your doctor’s advice. Paying attention to what you tell your doctor is equally important. While there is some value in simply telling Insurance of British Columbia that you are still experiencing a certain condition or symptom, it is much more valuable to be able to draw Insurance of British Columbia’s attention to the fact that you have repeatedly been making a similar complaint over a period of time. This can only be done if your doctor’s records show that you have continually been making that complaint, and the records will only show the complaint if you have been verbally expressing the complaint to your doctor. To ensure that your records are comprehensive, see your doctor regularly and always be candid about what you are experiencing.

    I was in an accident and Insurance of British Columbia wants me to fill out paperwork, what do I do?

    If you are in a motor vehicle accident, the Insurance of British Columbia claims adjuster will want you to fill out several forms. The paperwork will include authorizations allowing Insurance of British Columbia to obtain your medical and financial details.  If the information they seek is irrelevant, there is no reason for you to sign.  For example, if you did not miss any time from work, then why allow Insurance of British Columbia access to your employment file?   The most fundamental document you will sign is the “CL-22 Insurance Claim Application”.  The CL-22 contains details about your claim, including the date of your accident.  Importantly, this form will ask you to describe the injuries you suffered in the accident.  It is essential that you describe your injuries accurately - neglecting to mention an injury may come back to bite you.  For example, in a recent case a Plaintiff neglected to mention a hip injury on the CL-22.  At trial, the Plaintiff claimed a hip injury which the judge was skeptical about as it previously had not been claimed.   Insurance of British Columbia may also ask you to provide a statement about what occurred in the accident.  Your statement will detail the events leading up to, during, and after the accident, including details of your injuries and losses.  It is essential that your statement contain an accurate description of what happened.  If the other driver’s brake lights were out, your statement must include that fact – otherwise you may later be accused of fabricating that detail.

    Insurance of British Columbia wage loss benefits

    If you have been injured in a car accident and have lost time from work, you may be entitled to Part 7 Wage Loss Benefits from Insurance of British Columbia. Section 80 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation provides for payment of total temporary disability (TTD) wage loss benefits if a motor vehicle accident prevents an employed person from working. There are a number of requirements under the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation for entitlement to benefits, some of which can be summarized as follows: A person has to have been employed at the time of the accident (note that they need not have been physically working when the accident actually occurred, but must generally have been employed around the time the accident occurred). The claimant must be totally disabled by the accident from working a job for which the claimant insured is reasonably suited by education, training or experience. The total disability must arise within 20 days of the accident. Benefits are payable for the duration of the total disability, or 104 weeks, whichever is shorter. The amount of the benefits is capped at $300 per week. There is a waiting period before payment of benefits starts. It is recommended while awaiting a decision from Insurance of British Columbia on approval of disability benefits, that a claimant make a claim under EI Sickness benefits. If both EI and Insurance of British Columbia approve benefits, you must choose one out of the two, not both.

    Is Insurance of British Columbia really “on my side”?

    You may have seen Insurance of British Columbia’s new ads on TV that claim “We are in your corner.  You can get the benefits you are entitled to.  You can settle when you are ready.”  What’s going on?   Insurance of British Columbia is running a business, and it is to their advantage to keep costs down.  These ads appear to be an encouragement to settle directly with Insurance of British Columbia without seeking legal advice.  Why would they suggest that?  Because it will save Insurance of British Columbia money. And that's because lawyers generally get more for a case than any inexperienced injured person could.  Lawyers know the rules of the game, like Insurance of British Columbia, and unlike most injury victims.     Remember that once you settle you can’t go back later for more money if your injury comes back.  And remember that most lawyers offer a free initial consultation.  And remember that lawyers usually get more for your case than you will on your own, even after payment of legal fees.     So when you watch Insurance of British Columbia’s ads, ask yourself this question:  If they are going to have to write me a cheque, can they really be “on my side”?  It costs nothing to get a second opinion.

    Social media and your Insurance of British Columbia case

    Social media websites like “Facebook”, “Instagram”, “Myspace” and “Twitter” have made life easier for Insurance of British Columbia to investigate you and your claim. When you post something on these social media websites, virtually the world can look at your posts. For example, you may mention, on a social media site that you went on a trip, went skiing, or worked out, or heaven forbid, enjoyed socializing with your friends, etc… In so doing, Insurance of British Columbia will likely find out this information and use it against you. Imagine if Insurance of British Columbia downloads some photographs of you doing an activity and then uses it in Court against you to say you are not injured? Imagine if Insurance of British Columbia starts to interview people that went to one of the events you described on Facebook? Imagine if you mentioned getting drunk with some friends, and maybe posted some pictures of the evening? What would it look like if you posted something considered to not be socially acceptable? In some cases, Insurance of British Columbia investigators have accessed a claimant’s personal information by inventing a “friend” who then contacted them for access. Insurance of British Columbia then searches the sites, looking for photographs, notes, blogs, etc. Their purpose is to find photographs of a claimant in situations that could be damaging to the case in front of a judge or jury (eg. drinking or being drunk at a party, engaging in contact or other sports, traveling for vacations, etc…). Insurance of British Columbia is also looking for notes where a claimant has talked about the case, how s/he is feeling, and what next weekend’s plan may be. Generally, Insurance of British Columbia looks for anything online that will hurt your case. Sometime, Insurance of British Columbia will bring a Court Application to compel production of the social media account contents if they cannot access the information through the back door. This means that even if you maintain a limited number of friends and a tight privacy setting Insurance of British Columbia can get copies of your postings. Therefore, the rule of thumb when posting anything on a social media website is to assume someone from Insurance of British Columbia or the defense team will be reading it. Easiest thing to do is deactivate your account(s) and focus on your recovery instead.

    Personal injury: to settle or sue

    You have mostly recovered from your injuries: Should you settle, or sue? You have two yearsfrom the date of injury to decide. Once you settle your case you cannot reopen it if your problems come back or new ones arise. Patience is a virtue and time is money; generally the longer you wait for settlement, the better settlement will be. Your lawyer will get all the medical and income information available and start negotiations with Insurance of British Columbia. Some cases settle quickly and some can be complicated and can take months or even years between offers. If you overvalue your case it will take longer to reach agreement. Sometimes people do not want to let go of the fight, regardless of the consequences. But settlement can bring relief and an improved emotional state. If you have to sue, be prepared to attend an Examination for Discovery where you will be questioned extensively about your medical history and your life. If you and Insurance of British Columbia see your case very differently, then you may go to trial to have a judge or jury decide. Most cases settle because the costs, risks and emotional upheaval of a trial are too much for many people. There is no easy answer to the question “settle or sue”; as you proceed you must continually reevaluate that question with professional guidance.

    SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR Insurance of British Columbia CASE

    Social media websites like “Facebook”, “Instagram”, “Myspace” and “Twitter” have made life easier for Insurance of British Columbia to investigate you and your claim. When you post something on these social media websites, virtually the world can look at your posts. For example, you may mention, on a social media site that you went on a trip, went skiing, or worked out, or heaven forbid, enjoyed socializing with your friends, etc… In so doing, Insurance of British Columbia will likely find out this information and use it against you. Imagine if Insurance of British Columbia downloads some photographs of you doing an activity and then uses it in Court against you to say you are not injured? Imagine if Insurance of British Columbia starts to interview people that went to one of the events you described on Facebook? Imagine if you mentioned getting drunk with some friends, and maybe posted some pictures of the evening? What would it look like if you posted something considered to not be socially acceptable? In some cases, Insurance of British Columbia investigators have accessed a claimant’s personal information by inventing a “friend” who then contacted them for access. Insurance of British Columbia then searches the sites, looking for photographs, notes, blogs, etc. Their purpose is to find photographs of a claimant in situations that could be damaging to the case in front of a judge or jury (eg. drinking or being drunk at a party, engaging in contact or other sports, traveling for vacations, etc…). Insurance of British Columbia is also looking for notes where a claimant has talked about the case, how s/he is feeling, and what next weekend’s plan may be. Generally, Insurance of British Columbia looks for anything online that will hurt your case. Sometime, Insurance of British Columbia will bring a Court Application to compel production of the social media account contents if they cannot access the information through the back door. This means that even if you maintain a limited number of friends and a tight privacy setting Insurance of British Columbia can get copies of your postings. Therefore, the rule of thumb when posting anything on a social media website is to assume someone from Insurance of British Columbia or the defense team will be reading it. Easiest thing to do is deactivate your account(s) and focus on your recovery instead.

    How can my discussions with my doctor affect my Insurance of British Columbia claim?

    Two of the most important aspects of your Insurance of British Columbia claim are what your doctor tells you and what you tell your doctor. When another driver causes you to suffer injuries or other losses, Insurance of British Columbia is required to make things right by compensating you for your injuries and losses.  However, you are also required to take reasonable steps to minimize those injuries and losses.  For example, if you suffer a back injury, your doctor might refer you for 12 sessions of physiotherapy.  If you choose not to act on that referral but complain of back pain a year later, there’s a good chance that Insurance of British Columbia will argue that you are largely responsible for that continuing back pain since it probably could have been avoided by undergoing the treatment that your doctor had recommended to you. Ultimately Insurance of British Columbia will not be on the hook for persistent injuries that would have resolved had you followed your doctor’s advice.

    Paying attention to what you tell your doctor is equally important. While there is some value in simply telling Insurance of British Columbia that you are still experiencing a certain condition or symptom, it is much more valuable to be able to draw Insurance of British Columbia’s attention to the fact that you have repeatedly been making a similar complaint over a period of time. This can only be done if your doctor’s records show that you have continually been making that complaint, and the records will only show the complaint if you have been verbally expressing the complaint to your doctor. To ensure that your records are comprehensive, see your doctor regularly and always be candid about what you are experiencing.

    I’ve Been Served!

    Most of us have seen a television show or movie where a character is surprised by someone handing them an envelope or set of papers accompanied by an emphatic “You’ve been served!” Sometimes a character goes to great efforts to avoid the critical moment in hopes of avoiding the law suit altogether. Drama ensues.

    The reality is, or should be, less dramatic. Legal service is often accomplished by having a friend or representative of the plaintiff contact the defendants and arrange for a time and place to deliver the documents.

    However, few things are more anxiety-inducing than the realization you are being sued, and the temptation for some people is to create their own movie script and avoid all contact with anyone who might possibly be bearing the legal documents. Agents for my clients over the years have encountered people brandishing weapons, people living in dark houses behind closed curtains and people who refuse to acknowledge their own identity in desperate efforts to avoid being served. Unfortunately for these people, the plaintiff can apply to the court to approve an alternate form of service, such as posting ads in newspaper and online classifieds, and the plaintiff can then continue on without the defendant’s participation in the law suit.

    The best approach is to cooperate and accept service of the documents. Resisting service merely increases animosity between the parties and makes you look dishonest. But don’t stop there! Read the documents immediately so you know the case against you, how to respond, and when your response is due, so that you will be able to properly defend yourself against the claim.

    I was in an accident and Insurance of British Columbia wants me to fill out paperwork, what do I do?

    If you are in a motor vehicle accident, the Insurance of British Columbia claims adjuster will want you to fill out several forms. The paperwork will include authorizations allowing Insurance of British Columbia to obtain your medical and financial details.  If the information they seek is irrelevant, there is no reason for you to sign.  For example, if you did not miss any time from work, then why allow Insurance of British Columbia access to your employment file?

     

    The most fundamental document you will sign is the “CL-22 Insurance Claim Application”.  The CL-22 contains details about your claim, including the date of your accident.  Importantly, this form will ask you to describe the injuries you suffered in the accident.  It is essential that you describe your injuries accurately - neglecting to mention an injury may come back to bite you.  For example, in a recent case a Plaintiff neglected to mention a hip injury on the CL-22.  At trial, the Plaintiff claimed a hip injury which the judge was skeptical about as it previously had not been claimed.

     

    Insurance of British Columbia may also ask you to provide a statement about what occurred in the accident.  Your statement will detail the events leading up to, during, and after the accident, including details of your injuries and losses.  It is essential that your statement contain an accurate description of what happened.  If the other driver’s brake lights were out, your statement must include that fact – otherwise you may later be accused of fabricating that detail.

    Insurance of British Columbia Wage loss benefits

    If you have been injured in a car accident and have lost time from work, you may be entitled to Part 7 Wage Loss Benefits from Insurance of British Columbia.

    Section 80 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation provides for payment of total temporary disability (TTD) wage loss benefits if a motor vehicle accident prevents an employed person from working. There are a number of requirements under the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation for entitlement to benefits, some of which can be summarized as follows:

    A person has to have been employed at the time of the accident (note that they need not have been physically working when the accident actually occurred, but must generally have been employed around the time the accident occurred).

    The claimant must be totally disabled by the accident from working a job for which the claimant insured is reasonably suited by education, training or experience. The total disability must arise within 20 days of the accident.

    Benefits are payable for the duration of the total disability, or 104 weeks, whichever is shorter. The amount of the benefits is capped at $300 per week. There is a waiting period before payment of benefits starts. It is recommended while awaiting a decision from Insurance of British Columbia on approval of disability benefits, that a claimant make a claim under EI Sickness benefits. If both EI and Insurance of British Columbia approve benefits, you must choose one out of the two, not both.

    Is Insurance of British Columbia really “On My Side”?

    You may have seen Insurance of British Columbia’s new ads on TV that claim “We are in your corner.  You can get the benefits you are entitled to.  You can settle when you are ready.”  What’s going on?

     

    Insurance of British Columbia is running a business, and it is to their advantage to keep costs down.  These ads appear to be an encouragement to settle directly with Insurance of British Columbia without seeking legal advice.  Why would they suggest that?  Because it will save Insurance of British Columbia money. And that's because lawyers generally get more for a case than any inexperienced injured person could.  Lawyers know the rules of the game, like Insurance of British Columbia, and unlike most injury victims.

     

    Remember that once you settle you can’t go back later for more money if your injury comes back.  And remember that most lawyers offer a free initial consultation.  And remember that lawyers usually get more for your case than you will on your own, even after payment of legal fees.

      So when you watch Insurance of British Columbia’s ads, ask yourself this question:  If they are going to have to write me a cheque, can they really be “on my side”?  It costs nothing to get a second opinion.

    How Much is my Insurance of British Columbia Claim Worth?

    This is a question every client wants to know, but it is not an easy question to answer at the start of your case. Assessing an injury claim takes time. Your injury is new, and we cannot say whether it will get better, or how soon. How will it affect your life and work? The value of your claim is dependent on many factors:

    Whether the accident was your fault, someone else’s, or a mix The extent and duration of your injuries The treatment you required Will you recover fully or partially? How much income did you lose? How much might you lose in the future? The costs of treatment, past and future. Clients often mention friends that got “x” dollars for their injuries. You cannot compare your case to others; every person and every injury is different. There are two main factors when negotiating with Insurance of British Columbia.

    Insurance of British Columbia uses an internal guideline when assessing claims. BC courts are not bound by the Insurance of British Columbia’s assessment guide. When lawyers make a settlement offer to Insurance of British Columbia, they rely on the outcome of the many car accident cases that are decided by annual in the courts. If a settlement cannot be reached out of court, these “precedents” will guide how a judge values your claim. Usually we recommend against settlement for at least 12-18 months. The longer your injury lasts, and the longer you wait to settle, the more your case is likely be worth.

    How can Social Media affect your Insurance of British Columbia Case?

    Social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Myspace, and Twitter have made life easier for Insurance of British Columbia to investigate you and your claim. When you post something on these social media websites, virtually the world can look at your posts. For example, you may mention, on a social media site, that you went on a trip, went skiing, or worked out, or, heaven forbid, enjoyed socializing with your friends, etc… In doing so, Insurance of British Columbia will likely find out this information and use it against you. Imagine if Insurance of British Columbia downloads some photographs of you doing an activity and uses it in Court against you to say you are not injured? Imagine if Insurance of British Columbia starts to interview people that went to one of the events you described on Facebook? What if you got drunk with some friends and posted some pictures of the evening? What would it look like if you posted something considered to not be socially acceptable?

    In some cases, Insurance of British Columbia investigators have accessed a claimant’s personal information by inventing a “friend” who then contacted them for access. Insurance of British Columbia then searches the sites, looking for photographs, notes, blogs, etc. Their purpose is to find photographs of a claimant in situations that could be damaging to the case in front of a judge or jury (e.g. drinking or being drunk at a party, engaging in contact or other sports, travelling for vacations, etc.). Insurance of British Columbia is also looking for notes where a claimant has talked about the case, how s/he is feeling, and what next weekend’s plan may be. Generally, Insurance of British Columbia looks for anything online that will hurt your case. Sometimes, Insurance of British Columbia will bring a Court Application to compel production of the social media account contents if they cannot access the information through the back door. This means that even if you maintain a limited number of friends and a tight privacy setting, Insurance of British Columbia can get copies of your postings.

    Therefore, the rule of thumb when posting anything on a social media website is to assume someone from Insurance of British Columbia or the defence team will be reading it.