As stated earlier, if you’re in an accident, you don’t have to report it to ICBC right away. You are required to contact them within a reasonable amount of time, as long as it’s within 30 days of the accident. ICBC records your phone call, and anything you reveal in your statement can be used against you to reduce your compensation. Keep this in mind.
Your Initial Report to ICBC
You can file your report by phoning dial-a-claim, reporting online, or have your lawyer report it on your behalf. The ICBC representative will take your statement on how the accident happened and may also want you to bring your car in to have the damage recorded.
Here’s what you’ll need for your initial report to ICBC:
- Date and time of the accident
- Location of the accident
- Your vehicle license plate number and registration
- Name, driver’s license numbers, and vehicle details of the other parties involved in the crash
- Details of how the accident happened
- Details of injuries, if any
- Information of witnesses, if any
- Police file number (if police were present)
Note that when you phone dial-a-claim, the ICBC representative is filling out their internal CL-75 form with the information you’re providing. Whatever you say can be used against you in your claim
You can also report a claim 24-hours a day online at ICBC’s website. An ICBC adjuster will process the claim usually within 24 hours and post an online claim report notice, which you then retrieve.
Once you report the accident, ICBC will open an investigation to determine who’s at fault. Depending on whether ICBC finds you partially, completely, or not responsible for the accident, their decision may affect your insurance premiums and your right to claim compensation for your injuries.
In some circumstances, ICBC will send a private investigator to interview the people involved in the accident; this can then be used against you. Hiring a lawyer will help you protect yourself.
Dispute a Liability Determination
If you disagree with ICBC’s decision of who’s at fault, you can do one of the following:
- Dispute the decision through an independent proceeding offered by ICBC. An independent arbiter will take a look at the evidence and conclude on who’s responsible for the accident
- File a small claims or Supreme Court lawsuit
You can seek the counsel of a lawyer at any stage of the process, so if you’re unsure of how to proceed, contact a lawyer.