At first glance, the increase in ICBC accident benefits from $150,000 for each vehicle accident to $300,000 appears to be a positive change for innocent victims of auto accidents. In fact this change will only benefit those drivers that are at fault for causing the car accident injuries. How is this possible? Read on.
Important to know that ICBC accident benefits are deductible from the court award against the at fault driver. The at fault driver has no claim against the innocent driver but will be able to claim $300,000 in accident benefits from ICBC. For the innocent victims, the $300,000 in ICBC benefits will be deducted from the claim against the at fault driver, leaving them with a lower award.
Furthermore, the level of benefits do not change until April 1, 2019. This means that even though there is a higher limit, the actual benefits remain the same.
In the ICBC system the driver’s responsible for causing the injuries get special treatment under the law and are called “designated defendants”. Not surprising, ICBC was created largely to protect these designated ICBC defendants.
An at fault ICBC driver, an ICBC defendant, is not responsible for paying the first $300,000 for the injury victims injury. They are only responsible for paying net wage loss not gross wage loss. Victims must deduct work benefits and government benefits from the claim against the ICBC defendant.
The Canadian Bar Association recognized these changes will only indirectly impact legal costs and will, “takes money out of the pockets of injured British Columbians“. Most ICBC claimant’s should take advantage of free legal consultations. An ICBC claim will be different depending whether the accident occurs before or after January 1, 2018 and before or after April 1, 2019.
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