Liability for a car accident (who is at fault) is very important to personal injury claims. You can only claim and recover compensation (damages) for injuries suffered by you as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you are found partially at fault for a car accident, you will only recover that portion of your damages which was not caused by your fault. For example, if you are found 40% at fault for the auto accident, then you will only be entitled to recover 60% of your injury claim. If the accident is found to be entirely your fault, you will not be entitled to any compensation for your injuries (you may still be entitled to no fault benefits).
ICBC often makes quick decisions on fault without fully investigating a car accident. It is important that witnesses are spoken to, weather conditions are analyzed, police reports are reviewed, driver statements obtained, and many other factors in relation to liability are looked at before a decision is made. ICBC adjusters do not often reach the right decision as to fault. It is important to consult a ICBC lawyer who can investigate the accident scene and give you advice as to whether the car accident was your fault.
There are internal review processes at ICBC if you are unhappy with a decision that has been made by an ICBC claims adjuster. You can also pursue your injury claim in BC Small Claims Court or BC Supreme Court. A judge or jury will make a determination as to fault and ICBC has to abide by the decision that is made.
If you are a passenger injured in a Vancouver car accident, fault is not an issue. However, there may be other other factors that may have contributed to your injuries and therefore will reduce your claim for compensation. See what is your claim worth for more information.