Common Misconceptions

Common Misconceptions About the ICBC Process

1.     That the ICBC adjustor acts for you.   The truth is that the ICBC adjuster is not neutral; he or she acts for the at fault party in the accident, not for you. In fact, until you hire a lawyer, nobody is acting for you. Trusting the ICBC adjuster in a car accident case is like trusting your spouse’s lawyer for legal advice in a divorce case.

2.     That the ICBC adjuster is in the best position to give you advice about the medical management of your case.   The truth is that the ICBC adjuster is not a doctor, a therapist or any other type of medical practitioner. You would be better off getting medical advice from your hairdresser or butcher.   Look to your medical professionals for medical advice.   Do not listen to medical advice offered from the ICBC adjuster.

3.     That an ICBC doctor is in the best position to give you advice about the medical management of your case.   The truth is that the doctors hired by ICBC to examine you may have medical licenses, but they do not have your best interest in mind.   Their only interest is in minimizing the financial value of your claim.   If they can convince you that your injuries are minimal or non-existent, all the better for the ICBC bottom line.

4.   That ICBC adjustors will settle your file for “fair and reasonable” compensation.   The truth is that the term “fair and reasonable” was coined by ICBC many years ago to fool people into thinking that ICBC adjusters are neutral in the process, sort of like arbitrators or mediators.   Nothing can be further from the truth.   The mandate of an ICBC adjuster is to settle files quickly and cheaply.   They want to settle your file quickly before the real magnitude of your injury becomes known.   They want to settle files cheaply because their job performance is judged by how little money they pay out, i.e. the smaller your pay out, the bigger their pay out.

5.   That hiring a lawyer will take money out of your settlement.   The truth is that statistics show that people receive up to two or three times what ICBC offers when they hire a lawyer such that any legal fees paid out will leave you with far more compensation than if you would take the ICBC offer.

6.   That the cost of maintaining the ICBC system is going up due to greedy injured people and greedy lawyers.   The truth is that, if costs are rising, it is the result of the new ICBC policies where they push people to trial when they don’t agree to settle at half the value of their claim.   At Cowley & Company, we regularly receive awards from Judges that are two and three times ICBC’s initial offerings.