ICBC has made sweeping changes to legislation that changes how they are dealing with people injured in vehicle accidents.
FOR ACCIDENTS THAT HAPPENED PRIOR TO APRIL 1, 2019:
ICBC is taking a more restrictive approach to settlement. Although you still have the right to seek full damages and go to Court if necessary, it will not be easy to obtain a good settlement without a trial. The Rules of Court have also been changed to limit the number of experts you can use to prove your injuries. Call us to discuss your options.
FOR ACCIDENTS THAT HAPPEN AFTER APRIL 1, 2019:
ICBC has made changes
that will drastically reduce the amount of compensation available to you:
The vast majority of injuries will be deemed “Minor”. Unless you have broken a bone in your accident, you will likely be lumped into the Minor Injury category and your damages for pain and suffering will be capped at $5500.
- This applies to injuries like whiplash, soft tissue/ muscular injuries to the neck and back, torn ligaments, psychological harm like PTSD and anxiety, and concussions.
- Only if your injuries “significantly impair” your ability to attend work, school, or do your own personal care for greater than 12 months will you escape the “minor injury” classification.
- ICBC is in charge of this determination. This penalizes people who need to work to earn a living and who cannot afford to take time off.
- The “Minor Injury” determination does NOT take your personal circumstances into account. For example, a competitive mountain biker with a torn rotator cuff will be treated the same as a retiree with the same injury.
- If you do not actively seek a diagnosis and pursue treatment immediately after an injury, ICBC can deem your injuries to be “minor”, even if they are serious and significant.
- If you believe your injuries are not minor, you must wait at least 12 months and then meet strict criteria. Again, ICBC decides if the “Minor” designation applies to you.
- If you disagree with ICBC’s decision, you are no longer able to challenge this in Court. You must now apply to an online tribunal (the CRT).
You are still allowed to hire a lawyer under this new system. However, many lawyers may not accept claims that are destined for the CRT. If you are unsure whether hiring a lawyer is necessary, or if a lawyer will take your case, please call us. We can help.