In the spirit of The 12 Days of Christmas, I decided to write The 12 Days After Your Accident to provide a guide for what you need to know after your accident. The 12 days are used metaphorically and the timing, order and steps after your accident may differ.
On the 1st day, do you know who hit you?
If you were unable to identify the other driver, consult a lawyer immediately. ICBC has strict requirements for identifying the other driver. If these requirements aren’t met, your entire claim may fail.
On the 2nd day, should you make a claim?
Regardless of who’s at fault, ICBC’s Basic Autoplan includes Accident Benefits coverage that helps cover things like medical expenses, treatment, wage loss benefits, and other expenses related to the accident. Any claim for injuries over and above what is covered has to be made as a claim against the at-fault driver, if there is one.
On the 3rd day, go see your doctor.
It is important that your doctor examine you as soon as possible. Try to only see one doctor. If you can’t find one, choose one doctor at a walk-in clinic and see only that doctor.
On the 4th day, you begin attending treatment.
As mentioned above, ICBC Accident Benefits for medical care are not subject to fault. However, not all expenses may be covered. You may be able to claim expenses that aren’t covered if you are not at fault. However, it is important to document these expenses. Failure to do so can result in the claimed expenses being denied.
On the 5th day, ICBC asks for a meeting.
Before the meeting know your medical history to ensure that you do not misstate your previous medical problems. If you think you may be partly at fault for the accident, speak to a lawyer immediately so they can prepare you for your interview.
On the 6th day, start documenting.
If you don’t recover quickly from your injury, you may eventually be asked questions about your recovery. It’s prudent to keep track of how you are progressing.
On the 7th day, you can’t clean your house.
You may make a claim for such a loss of ability. Tell your doctor, hire assistance or ask a friend or relative to help you. Keep track of receipts and assistance.
On the 8th day, ICBC stops funding your treatment.
ICBC may stop funding treatment even though the doctor thinks it would be beneficial. Consider talking to a lawyer about alternative ways to fund the treatment you need.
On the 9th day, you can’t work.
Wage loss benefits are only paid where the claimant is disabled “from engaging in employment or an occupation for which the insured is reasonably suited by education, training or experience”. The benefits are only payable for a specified duration and a set amount of no more than $300/week. Additional wage loss can be claimed against the at fault driver.
On the 10th day, ICBC asks you to see a doctor.
When you attend an ICBC-appointed doctor, the report from such a specialist may harm your claim. Seek legal advice if ICBC asks you to see its chosen specialist.
On the 11th day, can you return to work?
At some point, ICBC may insist that you are able to work full time, or your finances may force you to return to work. In these situations, a Work Capacity Evaluation be invaluable. A lawyer may help you arrange such an evaluation to prove your limitations.
On the 12th day, ICBC asks you to settle.
If you settle too early hoping that you will recover from your pain and limitations in the near future, this may be a catastrophic mistake. Once you have settled your claim, you are barred from seeking any additional compensation. Consult a lawyer before settling.The information provided above is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer or address specific situations. Your personal situation should be discussed with a lawyer. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a legal professional.