ICBC accident? The motor vehicle insurance scheme in British Columbia is superior to many auto plans elsewhere. For example, you are entitled to receive medical rehabilitation and partial wage loss benefits even if it is determined you were liable for the accident, not directly insured by ICBC or were hit by an “out of province” vehicle. Coverage is also available when the other vehicle is uninsured or unidentifiable. Consequently, if you are injured and require care, it is assuring to know such comprehensive protection is available. Knowing this however, is not enough. You need to understand your rights and responsibilities when dealing with the insurance company.
Under Part 7 of the Regulations for the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act
, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”) must provide certain medical rehabilitation benefits and partial wage loss benefits to those that qualify. Medical benefits include access to rehabilitation specialists and various facilities. Wage loss benefits are calculated on past earnings and are called Temporary Total Disability benefits (“TTD’s”). Exactly what medical benefits and how much TTD’s a person is entitled to, can at times be unclear. In less serious situations, ICBC may pay for up to 12 physiotherapy sessions. To receive further treatment, it may be necessary to obtain a recommendation from your family doctor. Where injuries are more serious in nature, the Regulations provide for all:
“reasonable expenses incurred by the insured as a result of the injury for necessary medical, surgical, dental, hospital, ambulance or professional nursing services, or for necessary physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, occupational therapy or speech therapy or for prosthesis or orthosis”.
If you are totally disabled for more than 7 days and your disability appeared within 21 days of the accident, you may qualify for TTD’s. The amount available is 75% of your average gross weekly wage up to a maximum of $300 per week ($145 per week for homemakers). What claimants don’t always understand is that they are usually required to apply for Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits before they are eligible to collect TTD benefits. Once a claimant has been refused EI, exhausted their EI entitlements or require a top up over EI, they will be able to collect TTD’s. Meeting the criteria to collect your benefits and continue receiving them, can be confusing. The conditions are numerous and ongoing, sometimes resulting in foregone entitlements.
As noted above, you may be entitled to certain benefits under Part 7 of the Regulations. If you do not receive these benefits and are entitled to them, it may be necessary to begin a Part 7 action or lawsuit. The action is filed against ICBC for failing to provide benefits guaranteed by Regulation. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and loss. This is known as the Tort action. The Tort action is initiated against the negligent party that caused the accident. If applicable, you may claim for pain and suffering, past wage loss, future wage loss or loss of capacity, expenses for medical treatment and future care.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible to file a Tort action against the party that caused the accident resulting in your injuries. The law however, only provides a two-year window of opportunity immediately following the date of your accident to officially commence your legal action. Other limitations also govern your ability to file a Part 7 action. If you fail to start your legal actions in time, you may be barred from doing so, thereby forfeiting your entitlements.
Sometimes ICBC will contact an individual and offer a settlement. From ICBC’s perspective, once the file is closed, future exposure is eliminated. The difficulty is that if you settle too early, you waive your right to future entitlements. This could be devastating if your injuries become more serious over time or latent injuries subsequently surface. You should consult with your doctor regarding your injuries and contact a lawyer to determine whether the amount offered is appropriate.
Where injuries are minimal, you may feel it is not necessary to hire a lawyer. Nevertheless, it is always wise to consult with one before making that choice. Whether you have been seriously injured or just want to inquire about Part 7 benifits, call Daryl Brown at 604-612-6848. In most accident claims, he can act for you on a contingency fee basis, or a percentage of the amount awarded upon settlement or after trial.
At Daryl Brown & Associates, you do not pay our fees unless we successfully recover an award. NO RECOVERY. NO FEE.
Note: This site is for information purposes only and is not meant to be construed as legal advice. For legal consultation, email Daryl Brown directly at Contact us or call him at 604-612-6848 or toll free at 1-844-BIKE-LAW .