If you have been injured in a car accident, there are multiple ways that contacting a lawyer early can be helpful.
Firstly, a lawyer can help you prepare a statement that will not hurt your case when you are trying to settle it later. ICBC will generally not provide you any funds or treatment until you have provided them with a statement of what happened in the car accident. This statement, although not made under oath, can be used against you later on in settlement proceedings or at trial. Any statement you make to ICBC can harm your chances of getting fair compensation later.
Next, once you have hired a lawyer, they will be entirely responsible for communicating with ICBC on your behalf. This can be advantageous for several reasons. Firstly, dealing with insurance companies, in general, is not always fun. Secondly, ICBC adjusters may encourage you to settle your claim without proper legal advice. It can be difficult to judge what a proper settlement should be, particularly in the early stages of an injury. Additionally, you may not be aware of various legal issues, which can affect your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you with this process.
There are also issues of convenience. ICBC has various claim centres across Vancouver, the lower mainland, and other parts of British Columbia. You may not get to choose which claim centre your claim ends up in. As previously mentioned, once you have hired a lawyer, they will be entirely in charge of communicating with ICBC on your behalf. This will save you the hassle of having to communicate with adjusters in far off and/or inconveniently located claim centres.
Even if you ultimately choose not to seek legal representation, a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer never hurts, and I recommend that it be done as early as possible.