FAQs: Personal Injury Claims

Motor vehicle collisions – what to do, and what are your rights

1. What should I do at the scene?

Get the information you will need:

  • The other vehicle’s licence plate number
  • The other driver’s name, address and driver’s licence number – from the Driver’s Licence
  • The names and contact information of any witnesses.
  • Where and when the collision took place. 
  • Take a photograph of the vehicle damage, resting place of the vehicles, and anything else in the area that could resolve the question of liability if it becomes disputed.
  • HINT:  take a photograph of the licence plate, Driver’s Licence and insurance papers.

2. What should I do if it was a hit and run collision, or the other driver refused to give me his/her information, or I did not write down the information I needed?

You must make all reasonable efforts to determine the identity of the other driver and vehicle owner.  Get as much of the above information as you can at the scene.  Report the collision to the police.  Give written notice of the collision to ICBC immediately.  Post signs at the scene of the collision asking for witnesses.  Take a photograph of the sign, with a date-stamping camera.  Place an advertisement in the local paper, and keep a copy of the paper.  Go back to the scene of the collision at the same time of day for several days, and look for the same vehicle.  Make a note of these efforts.  Seek legal advice immediately – we can help you.

3. What should I do if a municipality was at fault for the collision?

Give written notice of the event to the municipality within 2 months of the collision.

4. What should I do if I did not give notice to the municipality within 2 months?

Seek legal advice.  In some cases this problem can be overcome.  We can help you find out if your case is one of these cases.

5. What should I do after the collision?

You must report the claim to ICBC, so call Dial-A-Claim.  You have to give ICBC the “available particulars” of the collision, any claim being made and any other insurance that may provide coverage.  Be accurate, and do not guess if you do not know the answer.  If you are ESL, get help.

6. Do I have to meet with an ICBC adjuster?

No.  They have a right to inspect your vehicle, but if you uncomfortable with the idea of meeting with an adjuster, seek legal advice to ensure you have done all you have to.  We can ensure that ICBC gets all the information they need, while still protecting your privacy and your rights.

7. I was injured and need treatment.  Will ICBC pay for my treatment?

Yes.  You need to do three things:

  1. promptly give ICBC  notice of the collision.
  2. give a written report of the accident with particulars of the circumstances in which the accident occurred and its consequences within 30 days of the date of the collision.
  3. make an application for these benefits within 90 days of the collision.

If ICBC refuses to pay for the recommended treatment, seek legal advice.  We can help you get the treatment you need to recover.

8. I have been unable to work.  Will ICBC replace my lost income?

Maybe.  You have to do the three things mentioned in the answer to Question 7 plus you have to apply for EI sickness benefits, and any short or long term disability benefits you have through another insurer.  If you have done so, and those benefits are under $300 per week, ICBC may be required to top up your income loss after a one week waiting period.  If ICBC refuses to pay, get legal advice – we can help you get the benefits you are entitled to.

9. I am a homemaker and do not work outside the home.  I cannot do this anymore.  Will ICBC pay for somebody to do my work?

Yes.  If you are disabled from performing most of your tasks, ICBC will reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred by you to hire somebody to do them.  ICBC will not pay anything if your family members take over your tasks.

10. Is there a time limit for resolving my ICBC claim?

Yes.  If you have not settled your claim within two years from the date of the collision, you must start a legal action to preserve your right to compensation.  In rare cases this time limit can be extended, but you should seek legal advice immediately.  We can help you determine if you still have the right to pursue your claim.

11. My wife was injured in a collision.  She used to do all the inside housework and I did all the yard work.  Now, I have to do everything.  Can a claim be made for the extra work I now have to do?

Yes, awards are sometimes made “in trust” for family members who do work that is beyond a relatively minor adjustment of duties within a family unit. 

12. What is my injury worth?

There are many heads of damage that can be awarded for a personal injury claim.  There can be damages for past income loss, pain and suffering, future income loss, loss of housekeeping capacity, loss of handyman capacity, “in trust” claim for work done by relatives or friends, medical expenses, past and future and loss of income earning capacity.  Your lawyer will have to gather documents and review medical opinion reports to assess your damages.  This can be a lengthy process and can only be completed when you have fully recovered from your injuries or when your doctor can give his opinion as to when and to what extent you will recover in the future.