How much ICBC pays for injury claims will plummet after May, 2021. Most will not have lawyers. ICBC settlements in 2021 will be unlike any other year in our history. Car accident injury claimants after May 1, 2021 will no longer be given compensation for loss of enjoyment of life. Let’s explain ICBC settlements for 2021 and review key changes for 2021.

ICBC Settlements and Covid-19

An offer to settle to ICBC should be considered by ICBC if going to court will put people in danger of contracting Covd-19. In Johnson v. Heer, 2020 BCSC 1751, uplifted costs were ordered against ICBC after the Court considered the offers to settle. “Attendance at this trial was not essential and it exposed the plaintiff, her husband, her mother, her counsel and defence counsel to an increased risk of exposure to the virus”. Covid-19 will therefore encourage settlements in 2021. Unwilling parties will pay further costs for unreasonable delay.

Settling Without a Lawyer

 In the new system lawyers will not be able to sue the guilty driver. There will longer be settlements as against ICBC. The amount of ICBC settlements in the last year plummeted compared to cases going to trial. ICBC settlement funds in 2021 may never been broken down. This is due to ICBC unusual decision to keep accident benefits open.

The term “Enhanced Care” has come to replace No-Fault auto insurance for the injury benefits from monopoly ICBC. Enhance Care limits ICBC requirement to pay accident benefits. It limits the guilty drivers requirement to pay the real cost of rehabilitation. ICBC Minor Injury laws apply to accident occurring on or after April 1, 2019 to May 1, 2021. The Enhanced Accident Benefits Regulation set limits on recovery and eliminates the right of innocent victims to pursue financial justice. As a result ICBC does not have to settle, there will be no case to settle and claimant are to receive no compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.

Getting a Lawyer for ICBC Settlements

 It could still prove valuable to hire a lawyer if your accident occurred before May, 2021. Although it is likely that for car accidents after May, 2021, ICBC Claimants will be able to hire a lawyer on a percentage. The disbursements and medical management will therefore have to be supervised and paid for by the claimant. This is due to the change to No-Fault auto insurance which the NDP refers to as “Enhanced Care”.

ICBC Settlement Case Examples

So far this year there have been few cases that have changed the settlement law in a significant way. The Court of Appeal however upheld refused double costs in 2021. This was despite the claimant obtaining a higher award than the pre-trial settlement offer. In Findlay v. George, 2021 BCCA 12 the Court of appeal found:

  • It was not improper for the judge to consider the availability of this material, even though some of it did not make its way before the jury.
  • The trial judge is in the best position to assess the reasonableness of the decision to reject a settlement offer.

On February 19, 2021 the ICBC Settlement case of Sidhu v. Alton, awarded a claimant no double costs for beating an offer to settle. The claimant made an offer to settle to ICBC for $450,000 and was awarded over $513,000.00. However, the claimant was entitled to $451,599.46. In awarding no double costs the court accepted that the defendants did not engage in any unreasonable litigation conduct that would merit an award of double costs.

Disbursements and Expert Evidence Regulation

This new legislation came into force February 12, 2021 denying injury claimant compensation for the reasonable case costs. ICBC is taking advantage of this change by refusing to pay claimants for thousands of dollars spent to prosecute their cases. These changes apply retro-actively to most injury claims and could wipe out fair compensation for many innocent victims of personal injury. Successful injury claimant’s case expense compensation is now limited to 6% of the award for most case.  There are many costs that may no longer be covered such as process server fees, investigation ;couriers; photocopying; expert fees; witness fees; cost to obtain records; travel costs; Mediation costs; and Examination for discovery costs. The future funding of injury litigation hangs in the balance as the Trial Lawyers Association of BC plans to challenge to law as illegal.


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  1. Hello, I am STILL reeling from these ludicrous changes to ICBC settlements as I have been scouring the internet since mid-last year when a.desr friend, who is like my brother, was hit by a car while walking and his life hasn’t been the same since.

    While still able to walk, thank goodness, he does not enjoy even close to the same quality of life, his sleep has been ruined due to pain and being unable to get comfortable and dreading the act of waking and getting out of bed as this has become so painful I’ve witnessed this 51 year old man, who was once the most energetic, always-on-the-go person I had EVER known, be brought to tears as he gingerly extracts himself from bed…now with the help of a bed rail and cane.

    Mike is no longer able to continue with his entrepreneurial venture he had begun prior to being mowed down and tossed from the hood of this woman’s car onto the pavement. This man who used to out Mr. Clean to shame and had decided to put his inherent ability to clean like a wizard to use and started his own cleaning business. The ink on the business cards he created himself was barely dry and he had but a handful of paid jobs under his belt, some as contracts when this accident took it all away from him. Now he is stopped over like a man 20 years his senior, unable to do something as basic as sweep a floor for FIVE MINUTES before he is in so much pain he can’t continue. Standing straight feels foreign and painful to him and while he used to walk at such a high speed that he was quicker than my scooter, now he can not walk 1 block or he is in so much pain he’s done for the day!

    He has had x-rays, CT scans and MRI and these have glaringly shown the severe damage to his back as what was once in a straight line is now staggered (think of stairs as opposed to a ladder).

    He has gotten nowhere with ICBC, I have found little to give us hope other than a small blurb in the ICBC mumbo-jumbo about SOME KIND OF monetary compensation for pedestrians when ones quality of life and physical well being is irreversibly altered for life and then something about a tribunal intervening if a person isn’t happy with what ICBC offers. Well, ICBC has offered him a big fat NOTHING, ZERO, ZIP and his adjuster and the handful of lawyers offices he’s contacted have left him feeling absolutely despondent and hopeless, telling him the new laws don’t pay any compensation to pedestrians hit by a vehicle! Pardon me, but HOW THE FU#$ CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE RIGHT?!?!? PLEASE TELL US THIS IS NOT ACCURATE AND THAT SOMETHING HAS BEEN MISSED, THAT SOMETHING CAN BE DONE FINANCIALLYMinister. ! Since his business was just getting started and he wasn’t working at a regular job with consistent hours, there is also no wage reimbursement so that’s out of the question.

    Mike will never be the same, at 51 he will likely never work again and his pain and suffering grow worse by the day. We desperately need someone to help us, to guide us. Please, anything u can suggest would be so appreciated. I am personally considering a province wide petition to end up with the Premiere and then, the Prime Minister. Honestly, I am stunned noone has started one yet!

  2. There is petitions going around. On social media, especially. But the government could care less what the people who voted them in think. They are protecting their monopoly cash cash cow. If changes are to happen, people are going to have to get a lot more vocal in the media, and peaceful protests

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