Hergott: One universal guideline

Follow the medical recommendations of your treatment team as if your ICBC claim didn't exist.

I’ve given the same ICBC claim advice over and over, consultation after consultation, for years. I have joked about creating a series of videos so that I could just press ‘play.’

Perhaps that’s not such a bad idea.

Injured victims are in the dark. You are dealing with injuries you’ve never experienced before and the financial stress that comes from missing work and having to pay for medical care. What medical care should you have? How much time, if any, should you take off work?

All this and you have this thing called an “ICBC Claim” that seems to be intertwined with everything. Your ICBC adjuster might or might not be agreeing to pay for part or all of your treatment expenses. The adjuster might agree to pay for one type of treatment but not another. He or she might or might not be agreeing to provide you with partial or full reimbursement of your lost wages.

There is no shortage of advice from those around you. It seems like everyone you know has an opinion, but those opinions are often contradictory.

Injured victims often rely on their ICBC adjuster for guidance, which is sort of like a mouse scurrying up to an eagle for help.

When I look back at all the advice I’ve given, I have been able to come up with one consistent guideline that has universal application. It might seem like a bit of a shocker. Instead of being concerned and careful about how to navigate around your ICBC claim, do the opposite: pretend that it doesn’t exist.

If you ignore your claim, you will follow the medical recommendations of your treatment team (your doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist, etc.) without regard for what an ICBC adjuster (who has zero medical training) might recommend or agree to pay for. Will that result in the very best recovery outcome? Absolutely. The ironic fringe benefit is that it results in doing exactly what a personal injury lawyer should be recommending.

If you ignore your claim, you will be pushing your treatment team for results to get you back to work as soon as reasonably possible. If it turns out that you have pushed them too hard and attempt a return too early, this will become apparent and the treatment team will pull you back. Will this result in the very best functional outcome for you? Absolutely. It also comes with the same fringe benefit.

If you ignore your claim, you will be living your life to the fullest, held back only to the extent your injuries truly hold you back. Is this the very best for your physical and emotional well being? Absolutely. Again, the fringe benefit is that you are doing exactly what a personal injury lawyer should be recommending.

There are some important things you should be mindful of so that your legal rights arising from your ICBC claim are best looked after, but those things are separate from the “what should I do about this or that” circumstances I’ve described. Ensure you find out about those important things as soon as possible by having a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer.