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Fault and Motor Vehicle Accidents: How Liability Affects Your ICBC Claim

Fault and Motor Vehicle Accidents: How Liability Affects Your ICBC Claim

By: Darren Kautz

ICBC insurance scheme is divided between at-fault and no-fault regimes.

Fault is determined per the rules of the road. The BC Motor Vehicle Act, along with court decisions, form the basis in which ICBC determines whether a driver in a motor vehicle collision is at fault. To determine fault, ICBC investigates the accident scene, reviews police records (if any), interviews witnesses and other drivers to see what occurred during the incident.

Once fault is determined, if the at-fault driver is not happy with the decision of the adjuster, they can bring their grievance in two internal mechanisms within ICBC. The first is to speak to adjuster’s manager who is involved in every at-fault decision. The second is to ask for a Claims Assessment Review, whereby the at-fault driver can formally petition CAR to review the decision within 60 days of the accident. If these internal review processes don’t result in a preferred outcome, the at-fault driver can bring a claim in court against ICBC. This latter course of action is the more authoritative avenue in overturning an at-fault assessment.

At-fault Accidents and Your Premiums

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and found at fault, there is a high chance that your premiums will increase. That being said, this measure is sometimes alleviated if you have a long claim-free record. Additionally, if you are involved in more than three at-fault accidents in three years, you may be subjected to multiple crash premiums. These are additional premiums you would have to pay as a result of multiple at-fault accidents.

At-fault Accidents and Coverage

If you are found at fault and have previously purchased collisions coverage, then ICBC will pay for damage to your vehicle. However, if you don’t have collision coverage, then ICBC will not pay for any damage to your vehicle. More importantly, being found at fault also means that you will not be receiving monies for wage loss, pain and suffering, and cost of future care. These damages account for a bulk of most ICBC settlements.

Whether you are found at fault or not, it is always better to consult with a personal injury lawyer who specializes in ICBC claims so that you have a formidable chance of receiving a fair outcome at the end of an ICBC claims process.

Join us again next week as I, Darren Kautz, will discuss other areas in personal injury law.

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