Evidence is everything that can be used to prove your claim. The two main types of evidence are testimony and documents. You can provide testimony for any element of your claim, as can family members, friends, witnesses and co-workers. Documents are often useful to corroborate your claim, and ICBC puts heavy emphasis on documents. While documents are technically not necessary to prove your claim at trial, ICBC will offer less in settlement where the only evidence is your testimony.
Testimonial evidence starts with the witnesses to the accident itself. Independent witnesses are very important, but anyone who saw the accident, including passengers in your vehicle, can provide evidence. The next category of witnesses are people who saw you before and after the accident, who can testify as to how it changed you. Family members can provide evidence of how you acted around the house, friends can testify as to how your activity level and mood changed, and co-workers can provide evidence as to how you changed at work.
You should keep any documents that support your claim: any receipts for expenses you incur and any medical or work-related documents. You will also want to build documentary support for your claim. This will include medical documents, medical reports and financial documents.
Generally, we take care of obtaining medical records and any necessary reports. However, you can help by ensuring that you visit your doctor regularly and discuss your symptoms, particularly those that are new or aggravated by the accident. You should also fill any prescriptions and attend any treatment recommended by your doctor.
If you continue to have symptoms for more than a year after the accident, you might benefit from a medical report. However, medical reports are expensive, ranging from $1000 to $10000 per report. So it is important to make the right decision. Your ICBC lawyer can guide you about obtaining a report.
It is important to keep any documents that show how your financial status changed. This means documents both before and after the accident. Often clients will have lots of documents from the date of the accident forward, but we need to show how your position has changed due to the accident, so we also need pre-accident records. If you are self-employed, it is particularly important to keep accurate records, including details of potential clients/business opportunities (dates, amounts and contact information); any expenses incurred due to the accident (new hires or increased hours of current employees); and anything else that demonstrates the impact of your injuries on your business.
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