Bad News for those Injured in Car Accidents

Settlements with ICBC to compensate for pain and suffering are ending. The BC NDP has created laws to prevent innocent victims of car accidents obtaining compensation for these losses. The current government have extinguished individual rights in favour of increasing the powers of the auto monopoly ICBC.

In 2019, ICBC resolved about 24,000 injury claims. Most resulted in total awards or settlements of $100,000 or less. In 72 percent of those cases, the claimant’s case expenses were less than 6% of the settlement.

For accidents after April 1, 2019 and before May 1, 2021 the NDP created a cap of $5,600. The Minor Injury Laws describe serious and life altering injury as “minor”. This to give ICBC special treatment in the court system. Every injury, no matter how serious, is deemed minor unless the claimants can prove otherwise. The new reality is that these claimants can no longer obtain lawyers to assist in their claims. The low and arbitrary awards display the complete failure of this system to compensation innocent victims fairly.

For the injured party, not only are they denied a recovery appropriate to their pain and suffering, but, because they often do not bother to seek legal help, they deal with the indirect consequences of their injuries alone and without adequate information. ( The Society Record, Page 12)

Pain and Suffering Compensation for Accidents After May 1, 2021

Compensation for pain and suffering has virtually been eliminated by the BC NDP effective May 1, 2021. Innocent victims of car accidents can longer sue the guilty driver unless the police decide to lay criminal charges. When the law in British Columbia did allow proper compensation to victims the Supreme Court of Canada held that an award  for pain and suffering  cannot be  inordinately high, low or disproportionate to the circumstances of the case.

The Future of ICBC Injury Claim Settlements

Christopher Ryan, director of claims strategy and programs for ICBC, confirmed that in the first nine months of ICBC’s fiscal year ending in March 2022, the average amount of settlement or judgment was approximately $100,000. The final amount of a settlement or judgment is not easily predictable. The Attorney General David Eby acknowledged that his illegal legislation required claimants to abandon legitimate claims. Mr. Eby tried to limit awards on costs to prevent claimants from receiving desperately needed funds.

Caps and the elimination of compensation for pain and suffering brought in by the NDP is inconsistent with our democratic principles supporting and promoting pain free life. Our current NDP injury claim system will not put a patient back to where they were before the injury and leaves the innocent to pay for the misbehavior of guilty drivers. Our sense of accountability as a community has already begun its decline.

Many personal injury lawyers cannot take cases for car accident after May 1, 2021. Simply put, a lawyer can do nothing when the right to seek fair compensation has been eliminated by legislation. Although these laws are being challenged, the injured are now being left behind. The loss of individual rights means that 2022 marks the first full year in which quality of life has been given no value by our government.

 

12 Comments

  1. I was rear-ended ended by an impaired driver in June, 2022. I had stopped to turn left and the driver of a pick up truck towing a large camper trailer slammed into my car. The other driver was arrested at the scene. I suffered a back injury and my car was a write off. My life has been seriously disrupted and dealing with ICBC has been very stressful. I feel like I have to fight for everything except my physiotherapy treatment. I have no recourse with any of their decisions. I’m presently disputing the amount they’re offering to pay out for my car (craziness with the way the current car market is!). This no fault insurance has taken away the accident victims rights!

  2. I also was hit by an impaired driver, his license was taken away for 3 months on the spot and it wasn’t the first time. I can’t handle driving now, doc told me not to , and it’s my career so that’s not too good for my future. My future income prospects for my chosen career have changed completely
    ICBC say they will top up medical ei to 90% Of my wage because I’m off work now.
    It was over 2 weeks ago and I haven’t even heard what happened to my car which will be a write off, airbags and totalled really

  3. I am at a loss in so many ways right now. I was struck in a roundabout by a car exiting the highway and not yielding to that roundabout. My car I believe is right off but I don’t know yet because it has taken so long. I’m still waiting after two weeks. My car is semi driveable but parts are falling off as I drive. I have a ratchet strap holding the hood down. Even if I CBC declares my car as towable. They can’t do that for six or eight weeks. So the car would have to stay in my driveway. ?
    I had a total knee replacement in February 2022. My knee is now injured but not damaged. I am in a lot of pain. My shoulders, back and arms are stiff and painful. My doctor believes I have a concussion.
    I’ve had a long interview with the ICBC CARE team regarding my recovery. They definitely overstepped their medical and personal bounds during this conversation. Nobody should be telling me what I can or should be able to do physically or emotionally except my personal physician or the people that she recommends to me for therapy.
    So here I sit..a fully insured driver except for loss of use on my vehicle which is my own decision with no viable vehicle (Because I CBC hasn’t been able to determine liability yet) When it is determined the other drivers fault I will have access to a paid car rental.
    Physiotherapy and massage therapy have been made available to me through ICBC That is great. But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have a vehicle to drive to get to those appointments. That I am in pain and that I am struggling through this. It’s just all wrong

  4. I was in a head on collision besides being very banged up and a cracked sternum i was declared 100 not at fault my car im sure is a write off all 6 airbags came out i was in the trama unit at the hospital for 5 to 6 hrs i get a call from icbc they offered rehab but there is no rehab for a cracked sternum i was also told you get zero payout for injuries the other driver got a ticket I was also told u can not sue the other driver how is this right i am suffering not able to get a fullbreath of air not able to get dressed or undressed need help out of bed this is so not right if your not at fault u should get a payout cause the guity party gets off scott free with no accountability they will do it again one very unhappy customer going private insurance next

  5. I was also rear ended at a stop light June 30th, 2022 in Terrace BC. The driver looked like he was impaired and strung out but the RCMP in Terrace, BC was too lazy write up a report or arrest him. The RCMP gave me a fake report number and let the driver go. I continue to suffer from my injuries and I read that whiplashes worsens over time and there will be long term damage. The driver said it was because he had bad breaks but the RCMP let him drive away???? I am depressed due to the impacts of injuries and it’s disgusting these irresponsible drivers can get away with this while we suffer and try to put our life back together, which will never be the same. We need to change the laws and I am hoping we have a lawyer who is able to start a claim with us, just incase laws change with new government.

    • The ICBC No-Fault laws brought in by the NDP discriminate against disabled and injured people, in my opinion. The provincial legislature came into effect on May 1, 2021. A legal challenge has been launched to the “no-fault” Enhanced Care program of ICBC. Unfortunately for you, people injured in a motor vehicle accidents after May 1, 2021 lost the right to take a guilty driver to court, except in cases where the driver is charged AND convicted of a criminal offence. Because the police did not charge the other driver your case will be captured by these new laws. Until the law is overturned or withdrawn there is not much the lawyers can do to assist people in your situation. I do not speak for the legal community at large and other lawyers may have differing opinions. Please let your MLA know how unfair these ICBC laws are to innocent victims like you.

  6. It doesn’t do any good to contact my local MLA. I was rear ended at a red light. My car a total write off. I have damage to my spine. But at least the other driver is well and back to work. This no fault has made it possible for bad drivers to drive as they please.
    ICBC is judge and jury. And we the accident victim are left to defend ourselves.

  7. My son was walking to work August 17th 2022. Crossing at the crosswalk a driver turns right at the intersection and hits him and his co-worker . He suffered injuries to his leg which was run over . He and his coworker have not returned to work : he is waiting for an mri to ensure all his ligaments are in tack ; major damage from the knee down . This law is unfair to the injured and allows others to drive as they please absolutely no accountability to the driver . How roads are not safe

  8. I was hit with my 12 yr old daughter while passing a car when the lady didn’t look and decided to gun it to the left onto a side road and hit the passenger side door where my daughter was and have glass fly across us and it sent the car flying off the right side airborne into the ditch and we luckily survived. My daughter is physically ok thank god but psychologically not. I am in so much pain and it took over a month for icbc to pay me for my car and my adjuster is so rude to me every time he talks to me for no reason as if it was my fault. I started my own business 4 months before this happened so they deemed this as not eligible to be paid wage loss so I am suffering and struggling financially due to this. Yes they pay for massage and physio but I have another child with autism that needs 24 hr care and I can’t even look after him properly. I have to have my sister here helping me 24/7 and live with me since this happened to help me with everything. Not being able to sue the other driver isn’t fair. Especially when my adjuster treats me the way he does. Telling me im not trying hard enough to get better when I’m actual fact I’m doing everything I possibly can to. They need to change this no fault back to how it was before so those of us who are victims can get what we deserve

  9. They are horrible corruption against the innocent. It needs to stop . These people adjusters cause stress and rudeness and stick together. Not a nice corporation.

  10. On June 27th 2021, a prohibited driver ran a stop sign which caused me to hit the drivers side behind the back tire. I had a few witnesses and they said the driver switched seats with the passenger because he had no license. They proved liability and the prohibited driver was charged. My icbc injury person said I wouldn’t get a pay out unless he was charged. I also still had UMP until July 4rd 2021 and I read that UMP as still in play until my insurance expired. ICBC is still refusing me a pay out when the person was charged. I have permanent neck pain and I’m a professional driver so I can’t afford to not be able to move properly. ICBC has made bad drivers remain bad drivers because they have nothing to lose. As I read earlier, it’s not fair to innocent victims.

  11. I was a passenger in a car accident driver rear ended someone hard. I reached down to save my 6 pound dog it was just a reflex to save him, I am 63 senior my right arm and neck were badly hurt. I have balance problems and was basically home bound living on the 20th floor with the heat made life so difficult. They have given me massage and Phiso which with my retirement plan I already had unlimited coverage. They want all information scanned and emailed to a Car Manager in Kamloops I live in Vancouver. I dont have a printer but they wont take paper copies, Not to mention its hard to write with my right hand. I had employment that I could not do because of the injury they refused to compensate as I did not have a contract before accident. What retiree who takes occasional part time work has exciting contacts my prospective employer even sent them a letter. I am in to much pain and my independence gone to even argue the point at present . This is when one needs a lawyer so all of a sudden you are a VICTIM

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