ICBC Injury & Breach Claims Defense Attorney
Newton, Guildford and Metro Vancouver
Fair settlements are no accident. Get the representation you deserve.
My professional recommendation is you need to S-T-O-P!! STOP!! before engaging the slick professionals at the ICBC Claim Centre. Call D. Gosal & Associates at 604-719-1360 or email Dil Gosal at WABCLawyers@aol.com. I offer a FREE initial telephone consultation for ICBC injury claims where you are a passenger or otherwise not at fault. This is the only exception to my Consultation Fee.
Liability & Law
We have recovered over $1,000,000 for our clients from ICBC insured Defendants.* The Insurance Bureau of Canada found that injured people with lawyers received over three times more in settlement dollars than claimants without lawyers! Yup: 3 X. ICBC’s internal memos I have seen in litigation confirm this. Having a lawyer will help you get what you justly deserve. I represent you and act on your behalf, not ICBC.
Hey, think of it in these terms. If you owned a company, and knew you would only have to pay $30 for the part, but there was a risk that that $30 part could cost over $100, wouldn’t you bend over backwards to ensure the price stayed a $30.
The legal remedy of compensation (damages) in motor vehicle accident claims is rooted in Tort Law and based upon the Law of Negligence (fault). If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident through the fault of another, you may have a claim and you should contact a lawyer immediately. Fault seems like an easy thing to determine, but it is often a complex question for a judge or even a jury. Fault can also be apportioned to multiple parties and issues of contributory negligence may arise. The question of how much compensation (damages) one is going to get is also an issue that can arise in personal injury claims.
ICBC Case: Soft Tissue Injury Case Litigated: Prasad v. Nyari
Visit our Case Outcomes for other results.
There are time limits on submitting a claim that may bar your option for recovery. If you miss the Statute of Limitations (SOL), you may be SOL! You should contact a lawyer immediately, as deadlines to commence legal proceedings may be as short as two months from the time of the accident.
Check out my ICBC Claims Blog for more information.
Should I get a Lawyer Before I go see ICBC?
If at all possible, you should see your lawyer BEFORE you see ICBC’s Adjuster. Remember, an adjuster works for the Insurance Company. ICBC is a corporation and wants to limit the dollars it pays on its claims. I do not work for both sides, I only work for you. We only get paid if you get paid.
What you say can and will be used against you. I have had people come to me who have had their entire claims denied, and even charged with offences such as misrepresentation or fraud, for what they thought were “office conversations” with the Adjuster. Make no mistake about the Adjuster’s agenda.
ICBC Claims FAQ
What can my Lawyer do for me?
A lawyer will know the law and can assist in presenting a full picture of your claim for liability and damages. This can include filing a Notice of Civil Claim, Writ of Summons, Statement of Claim, responding to Statement of Defence, commencing Examinations for Discovery (like depositions) and conducting a trial, if need be. Trials are expensive and emotional.
We will make every effort to avoid trial for you. There are options besides a full blown trial, including something akin to a “mini-trial” which is based mostly on the record or Settlement Conferences. We can also assist in negotiating a fair and just settlement. If however, a just settlement cannot be reached, a trial may be necessary in order to best protect your rights. And as trial lawyers, we have no problem going to court.
Being your own advocate may impair your ability to see certain issues. Your lawyer can also assist you in recovering funds, and if the damages are significant, work with you on long-term settlement options. Under no circumstances should you sign any paper or discuss the case before consulting a lawyer.
How much does D. Gosal & Associates charge?
Unlike criminal cases, we require no upfront fees. The legal fees and disbursements are usually taken from the fees you may recover. This makes it easier for you, as often our clients are dealing with financial strain given the loss of employment, health, and welfare. Our fees typically range from 25% to 33.33% (plus taxes), depending on the complexity of the case, what stage of the proceedings we are in and the type of case.
ICBC said I am in breach of my Insurance Policy. The Crown and ICBC is charging me with misrepresentation. Now what?
When you get insurance, or make a claim, you have to be honest and act in good-faith. If ICBC thinks you are not acting in good-faith, such as making a misrepresentation or they think you have committed fraud, then ICBC may send you a letter advising you that your claim for damages or injury is DENIED. This is called a breach of contract, commonly called “breaching the insurance”.
Some common grounds for breaching insurance by ICBC are:
- Denying the claim on the basis that the designated Principal Operator is in fact not the Principal Operator.
- Wrong Geographical area for the car – for example insuring in Squamish to get a discount when the vehicle actually is in Vancouver.
- Providing an improper usage of vehicle – such as insuring for pleasure only, when it is actually driven to work.
- Using another person’s name to obtain a larger discount on the claim rated scale.
Not only can your claim be denied, but you may be charged under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act for misrepresentation, or even the Criminal Code for fraud. The most common charge is under s.42(2) of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, which provides that:
A person commits an offence who
(a) provides or causes another to provide to the corporation or its representatives information material to a claim that the person knew or ought to have known is false or misleading, whether the information is required under this Act or is volunteered, or
(b) makes a statement or representation to the corporation or its representatives that the person knew or ought to have known is false or misleading in order to obtain payment for goods or services provided to a person making a claim, whether or not the goods or services were actually provided to that person.
Section 380.(1) of the Criminal Code, RSC covers fraud, and provides:
Everyone who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years,
If you have been denied your claim for damages/vandalism or injury, you can still sue ICBC and let a Judge decide who is right. Just because ICBC says you are in breach doesn’t mean you have to accept their decision.
Similarly, if you are charged with false statements, misrepresentation or fraud, you should contact us immediately. DO NOT meet with the SIU (Special Investigation Unit) Officers without consulting your lawyer. They are trained to get your confession or incriminating evidence against you. They are actually given Special Provincial Constable Status under the Police Act.
ICBC denied my case as Low Velocity Impact (LVI)?
ICBC Personal injury claims can also be brought in Small Claims. ICBC can and does deny claims based on its policy of “no crash-no cash” policy. In what they term as Low Velocity Impact, or “LVI” claims, they may deny you compensation for your pain and suffering and wage loss based on their “theory” that no injury could have resulted from a minimal impact crash. The LVI theory is not a principle of Law. It is simply a way ICBC basically denies you even have an injury. It can be contested though, commonly in Small Claims Court, particularly when there is medical evidence that supports your claim.
The Standard Form Letter, usually says… Dear Nancy No-Coverage:
“the information currently available to ICBC, including the minimal nature of the impact forces involved in the collision, as well as your physical condition at the time of the accident, has led us to believe that the accident did not result in any compensable injury.”
In certain circumstances, we can consider taking your case.
CLICK HERE for an example of a precedent setting case where ICBC said no injury under LVI, but my client got over $9,300 because the Judge did not agree with ICBC’s “LVI theory.”
Do I have to get Insurance from ICBC?
ICBC is a Crown Corporation and has a monopoly on basic insurance coverage in our Province. Everyone who gets vehicle insurance, has to get basic insurance coverage. This Autoplan coverage (available at over 900 Autoplan ICBC agent offices), generally includes: $200,000 for third party liability; no-fault benefits for rehabilitation and some underinsured protection. You can then apply for extended insurance coverage, for things such as Loss of Use, Collision Coverage, Underinsured Motorist Protection, Uninsured Motorist Protection, etc.
What are No-Fault Benefits?
Regardless of whose fault the accident is, you are entitled to certain medical and rehabilitative benefits, as well as in some cases of total disability wage loss. Once you hire us, we can assist you in perfecting your claim with the ICBC for these benefits. This is often called Part VII Benefits, as they form part of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act Regulations section.
These benefits usually include Massage Therapy, Physiotherapy, Chiropractors and the various Px. provided by your General Physician (family doctor). However, most often, massage therapy is stopped after the first 8 weeks, and ICBC limits the amount of times you can go by stopping coverage for physiotherapy and imposing “user fees”. In certain cases, we can assist you with this financial burden and make arrangements for you to continue to go, so our evidence doesn’t get destroyed just because you can’t afford to go.
You should obtain the information of the other driver(s) involved and any witness information. If you are seriously injured, call 911. You will be checked out by BC Ambulance services or even taken to the nearest regional Hospital. Eventually, you will have to call Dial-A-Claim at 604-520-8222 which is the 24 hour reporting line for ICBC. If you are out of the lower mainland jurisdiction, there is also a 1-800-910-4222 number. Remember though, you can provide the accident details through your lawyer and only need to provide the basic information at this point in order to generate a claim number. If your claim does not involve injuries, and is only for damage, theft or vandalism, then you can apply online to the ICBC website.
You should also obtain the RCMP or Police File # if one is given. Provide the license plate of all vehicles involved, insurance information of vehicles involved and where and when the accident occurred. If you have been ticketed with an offence, such as disobeying a traffic sign, following to close or driving without due care and attention, contact us immediately, as there are strict time limitations for filing a dispute of these allegations. Your injuries may develop over time, so discuss this with us before advising ICBC of the extent of your injuries.
Again, I stress, contact us before going to ICBC.
I was a pedestrian and got hit by a car. Am I insured?
Most likely yes. The legal definition of “insured” includes, among others, the owner of an ICBC insured vehicle, a member of that owner’s household, a pedestrian or cyclist hit by an ICBC insured vehicle.
The car that hit me took off, and I don’t know the license plate number?
In certain cases, if you have satisfied the law, you can still make a claim against the person that hit and ran. There are very strict time limitations for bringing such as case, as ICBC must have knowledge in order to investigate the matter. Contact us immediately if this is the case.
I hit a car, and then took off, what should I do now?
This is a very serious situation. As our practice is focused on ICBC and Criminal Law, those areas intersect here. You should consult us immediately and we can advise you regarding your potential jeopardy, in terms of Criminal Law and Civil Consequences.
I went to ICBC and they wanted me to sign a bunch of Authorizations?
We suggest that you do NOT sign the papers without legal consultation. ICBC may start fishing around and digging up old records that may have nothing to do with your claim. If you hire us, we control the flow of information, not the insurance corporation.
My accident was some months ago, is it too late to hire you?
It’s never too late to do the right thing. Many of our clients come to us after having dealt with ICBC. We can cancel the authorizations you signed. ICBC will stop talking to you and will deal with us directly. Of course, the earlier we are retained, the better, so we can assist you from the start.
My child was injured in an accident, now what do I do?
As a parent or guardian of a child under 19, you can apply for the no-fault benefits outlined above. In addition, if we are hired to act for your injured child, we can obtain a settlement with ICBC with the approval of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia.
*Each case depends on its own facts and law. Past results are not indicative of future results.