Assessing Fault In Motor Vehicle Accidents – ICBC Is Not The Final Word
As a personal injury lawyer, I have represented numerous clients that, prior to my involvement, were told by ICBC they were not entitled to injury compensation, despite having been injured in a motor vehicle accident. The reason ICBC had denied compensation in these instances was because it had determined that the accident was the fault of my client. It is certainly true that you are only entitled to injury-related compensation, such as lost income, out-of-pocket expenses and pain and suffering, if fault (or even partial fault) for the accident lies with the other driver. However, it is important as an injured motorist to understand that just because ICBC may have concluded internally that you are at fault for the particular accident, ICBC’s conclusion is not the final determination of the issue when it comes to seeking injury compensation.
The issue of who is at fault for a particular accident is one that can only be determined by the Courts. ICBC can come to their own conclusion about fault, based on their review of the particulars of the accident, however, ICBC does not have the legal authority to impose their determination on anyone. What this means, therefore, is that if you have been injured in an accident and ICBC tells you that your compensation claim has been denied because they have concluded you were at fault, you do not have to accept this determination outright. You can still pursue a claim if you can prove that fault for the accident, even partial fault, can be attributed to the other driver.
If you feel that ICBC has misunderstood the facts relating to your accident or has come to a conclusion that you do not agree with, you should consider consulting a lawyer to see if you might be able to pursue an injury claim. Even if an accident is partially your fault, if you are injured, you may still be entitled to partial compensation, based on the degree of fault that can be attributed to the other driver. Ultimately, the lawyer you consult should be able to review the accident particulars and help determine whether you may have an accident claim worth pursuing.