If you’ve been in a car accident and you are not at fault then you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses from ICBC. Even if you are at fault, “no fault” benefits are usually available for each party which can cover a range of medical rehabilitation and wage expenses. However, we understand that processing the ICBC claim can be a frustrating part of getting into an accident.
Not only are you suffering from injuries but the amount offered in settlement can be less than ideal. That’s because ICBC’s job is to minimize settlement payouts.
The best practice is to hire a personal injury lawyer to help settle your case. As lawyers, it is our duty to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. The total amount of compensation is unique to each case, however there are several factors that are consistently assessed when evaluating a claim: the extent of your injury and the losses you incurred.
We created this guide to give you an idea as to how properly to assess the value of your claim.
ICBC Soft Tissue Injury Assessment Guidelines
ICBC routinely uses internal injury guidelines when evaluating claims. These include the following:
The injured area has pain, stiffness or tenderness only and no physical sign of injury. A mild injury usually spans no more than 2 months of total disability and the patient can usually recover in 6 months.
Mild/ Moderate Injury
These injuries are showing muskuloskeletal sign(s) of injury. Mild/ moderate usually recover within 12 months.
These injuries also show muskuloskeletal sign(s) of injury. They can leave the injured party symptomatic for 24 months.
It is important to note that these guidelines are not the law and your injury claim will not be evaluated according to such guidelines if taken to court. The amount of compensation your claim deserves depends on the length, severity and losses attributable to the injuries. Courts look at past, similar cases as precedent for the value to give future cases.
Pain, Suffering and Loss of Enjoyment of Life
This category of damages is also called non-pecuniary damages because they relate to losses that do not have a dollar value, such as wage loss or out of pocket medical expenses. The amount compensated is unique to the individual’s case.
The best way to evaluate the non-pecuniary value of your claim is to look at similar cases in BC and look at the amount each case was awarded. This should give you a better idea and range of potential value for your case. BC Court Judgements are available to view on their public website.
Loss of Income
ICBC also determines the amount of compensation based on the impact that the injury had on your work life. For example, was it so severe that it inhibited your ability to work? If so, then you are entitled to recover both the loss of past income, and in some cases, the loss of future income.
Loss of past income is calculated from the date of an injury to the date of trial or settlement. Whereas loss of future income is compensated when the courts recognize that a person with long lasting injuries and limitations will suffer loss of income beyond the time of settlement.
ICBC Claim: Cost of Future Care
If the injured party is not at fault, they are also entitled to settlement that will cover future care and assistance that are directly related to the injuries incurred.
Loss of Housekeeping Capacity
If your injuries prevent you from completing their usual tasks around the house, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
The foregoing are relevant factors to consider when evaluating your ICBC claim. The final amount settled upon will be unique to each case. We understand that processing your ICBC claim can be a confusing and time-consuming process, that is why we recommend consulting a personal injury lawyer first. They will have the expertise and experience to navigate you through your case and make sure that you are awarded the amount you deserve.
For more information on what to expect when meeting with a personal injury lawyer click here.
For a free, no obligation consultation call: 604-372-0253.