When should I File My ICBC Claim?


By Mel Chaudhary

Simpson, Thomas & Associates know the law and procedures that must be followed to bring an ICBC claim. When dealing with ICBC, there are important deadlines that must be met at several points throughout the ICBC claims process.  This article will explain some of the important deadlines involved when starting an ICBC claim. It is important to note that there may be other deadlines not covered in this article – to discuss the time limitations for bringing your ICBC claim consult an experienced ICBC claims lawyer.

Time limit for filing an ICBC claim

There are several time limits that arise soon after a car accident occurs, including the following deadlines that must be met to file an ICBC injury claim:

  • “Promptly” report the accident to ICBC (ideally this would be within 24 hours of the accident, but serious injuries or catastrophic injuries may prevent you from doing this);
  • Provide a written statement describing the accident to ICBC within 30 days of the accident; and
  • File a proof of claim form (a CL-22 Insurance Claim Application) with ICBC within 90 days of the accident.

If deadlines are not met, your ICBC claim may be denied – contact us if your claim has been denied as exceptions may apply in your case. Note as well that there may be other applicable deadlines or different deadlines depending on the type of ICBC claim (for example, if you were injured in a hit and run car accident).

Two-year time limit for starting a lawsuit

In BC, the basic limitation period for starting a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of loss. The general rule is that you must either settle your ICBC claim or file a court action within two years from the date of the car accident.  If you do not file a court action against the other driver in your ICBC claim within the two-year limitation period, your claim will be “statute barred” unless exceptional circumstances exist.

Exceptions to the two-year time limit for starting a lawsuit

Depending on the circumstances of the accident and the accident victim, the limitation period may be extended or shortened. For example:

  • The two-year limitation period does not apply to claims by infants (i.e., persons under the age of majority (19) at the time of the accident) or persons under mental disability.
  • If you are bringing a lawsuit against a city or town, it must be commenced within six months of the date of loss (and there are even shorter deadlines for giving written notice to the municipality).
  • If the accident occurred outside of BC, the time limitations for bringing an insurance claim or lawsuit may be different in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred.

Questions about ICBC deadlines?

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is advisable to consult with an ICBC claims lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. That being said, even if some time has passed since the accident and you are worried that you may be out of time, give us a call. The lawyers at Simpson Thomas & Associates are ready to discuss your situation and help you file your ICBC claim. To book a free initial consultation call (604) 689-8888.