A high percentage of people purchase insurance without understanding the important details of the insurance policy. This can turn into a nightmare when a claim is denied due to an exclusion in the policy that was unknown or misunderstood at the time the insurance was purchased.
ICBC is no different. Most people have no understanding of the details of their ICBC auto insurance. Nor do most people have any understanding of the new significant changes in effect for ICBC claims and what these change mean.
As discussed in prior blog articles, if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident on or after April 1, 2019, the new ICBC minor injury caps potentially apply to limit your claim to a maximum $5,500 for pain and suffering.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, how do you know if your claim is considered minor and subject to the injury caps?
What is important to understand at the outset is that ICBC is under no legal or ethical obligation to inform you of your rights. You are on your own to figure this out yourself.
Unlike what some news outlets have reported, whether your claim is limited by the minor injury caps is not determined according to how long your symptoms last. In fact, a permanent lifelong injury can be classified as minor according to the new law.
Whether your claim is considered minor will involve examining the legal definition of “minor injury” according to the new statute created by the NDP. Understanding the legal definition and applying that definition to your situation is complex. The new law is difficult to interpret. It is challenging for a person with no legal expertise to understand his/her rights.
ICBC adjusters receive significant training on how to deal with injured claimants. They are well informed about the intricacies of the new ICBC minor injury caps to interpret them to ICBC’s advantage. The vast majority of injured claimants have no legal training or understanding. The playing field between an ICBC adjuster and an injured claimant is not even. In fact, it is heavily in favour of ICBC. ICBC records everything from emails to telephone calls. From the moment a claim is opened, evidence is gathered by ICBC to eventually classify your claim as minor. If you do not know your legal rights or what to do, how can you possibly deal with ICBC in a fair and reasonable way? The simply answer is – you cannot.
There are many benefits to hiring an ICBC personal injury lawyer. The most important is that an ICBC personal injury lawyer will level the playing field with ICBC. ICBC does not want lawyers involved because of this. With a lawyer, ICBC no longer has the advantage over you.
The ICBC personal injury lawyers at Holness and Small Law Group have been advocating against ICBC for over 20 years. We are up to date on all of the new ICBC changes that are currently in effect. We are proud and relentless advocates for injured claimants.
We are pleased to offer a free initial consultation. Understanding your rights is the first step in any situation. The earlier you know your rights, the better position you will be in to make an informed decision.
Contact us to learn more about your rights and how to protect yourself against ICBC.