Thursday, September 18, 2014

ICBC Tip-of-the-Month (September 2014): Providing a Statement to ICBC

ICBC Statement

"ICBC is asking me to make a statement, what should I do?"

It is normal for passengers and drivers who have been injured in an accident to feel a bit shaken up in the aftermath. It is important to contact experienced legal counsel right away in order to ensure your rights are protected and your claim is handled in a fair manner. ICBC does not represent you and they not necessary have your interests in mind when it comes to claims.  Like most insurance companies, their primary goal is to minimize claims and reduce exposure.

If you are clearly not at fault it is crucial to take time to organize yourself before your first meeting with ICBC. Though a Statement seems like a simple matter, adjusters are trained specifically to dig for information that you may not think is terribly relevant to the incident.
During your first interview with ICBC (either in person or over the phone with dial-a-claim) they are digging for information about your coverage and your claim. They may eventually ask you to come in to provide a statement or will take your verbal statement over the phone.
These verbal or written Statements can be used later in a court proceeding to question your credibility.  It is important that you are as accurate as possible and fix any errors that you see. 

Later in the claim, the ICBC adjuster’s job is to value the “impact the accident has had on your life”. This means they want information on the quality of your life pre accident. In order to prepare yourself for making a statement you should jot down a few notes on the following:

Pre-Accident Health:
·         Did you have any pre existing back or neck pain before the accident?
·         Did your doctor diagnose you with any back or neck conditions pre accident? If so were you prescribed any medication or referred to a chiropractor or physiotherapist? If you had any injuries pre- accident would you say you were fully healed before the time of the accident?
·         A good idea is to make an appointment with your doctor and review your medical history

Details of the Accident:
·         Time, distance, and any other details you can recall about the accident
·         Insurance coverage issues, which can be tricky without speaking to a lawyer first

Pre-Accident Income:
·         Make copies of your T4’s for at least two years before your accident
·         Start compiling all your pay stubs

Hobbies, sports and extra-curricular activities:
·         Prior to the accident what kind of athletic activities did you participate in? Have you attempted to return to those activities? If so are you able to continue those activities without pain? ( Running, working out, snowboarding, gardening, horseback riding, mountain biking, walking to work, etc.)
·         Have your social activities been effected in anyway?

Your injuries:
·         Properly document your injuries
·         If they injuries are serious enough, ICBC might send you to one of their doctors
·         See my post on “ICBC wants me to go to a doctor, now what?”
Your seat belt and headrest
·         Were you wearing your seatbelt? Was the headrest adjusted for you?

Do you have questions about your ICBC personal injury claim or accident?  If so, click here arrange your free consultation with  ICBC Claims Lawyer Perminder S. Tung (Services provided for ICBC injury claims throughout all of BC: Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, Richmond, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Tri-city area and all over BC)

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