If you live in British Columbia, your insurance is covered by the ICBC. When a vehicle collision leads to a personal injury and one party is at fault, an ICBC claim will likely be filed. ICBC claims range in the value of the settlement, and the settlement value is dependant on a number of circumstances and situational factors. The ICBC as an organization is known to utilize a number of internal guidelines and professional connections to help the adjuster minimize the claim amount/settlement value. A professional ICBC lawyer can help ensure their clients are not intimated by the ICBC, the negligent party or the adjuster. Often the injured party can be taken advantage of during your claims dispute process and the settlement value doesn’t fairly represents the severity of the injuries and compensation required for a full recovery.
If the damaged party chooses to go the route of self-representation they leave money on the table. Self-represented individuals are often offered a substantially lower settlement and are frequently persuaded to accept the lower settlement offer. Working with a personal injury lawyer that has experience working with ICBC claims/disputes ensures that all the damages and foreseeable damages are addressed and compensation is fair covering the long-term and short-term physical damages, emotional damages and loss of employment/earnings. There are the 7 types of injury damages that can be assessed and included in the value of your ICBC settlement and claim:
Out Of Pocket Expense Compensation
Out of pocket expenses are also referred to as “special damages”. Out of pocket expenses or special damages include hospital fees, medical treatment, dental work, the cost of home care and medical equipment that you had to pay at your own personal expense. Other special damages include car rental fees, insurance deductible increases, vehicle repairs, as well as the replacement of lost assets due to the collision that need to replaced.
Pain & Suffering Compensation
Vehicle collisions can be traumatic and cause ongoing trauma and injury. The rehabilitation processes can be long and strenuous on an individual. The compensation for pain and suffering is a “non-pecuniary loss”, a non-pecuniary loss is defined and considered by the amount of emotional distress and damage an accident has on a victim. An ongoing injury can lead to a loss of enjoyment of life or quality of life and is considered a pain and suffering loss. An injury that leads to the inability to participate in enjoyable hobbies and day-to-day activities that were previously engaged in regularly, but due to the injuries a victim loses the ability to continue these activities is considered a pain and suffering loss.
Loss Of Income Compensation
Any income that was lost or potentially lost from the date you were injured to the date your claim is settled can be included in the value of your ICBC claim settlement. Based on the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, when a third-party’s negligence causes the accident or a vicarious accident liability is at fault the recoverable amount is often limited and becomes a “net income loss”.
Loss Of Future Income & Earning Capacity Compensation
When injuries are long-lasting and ongoing they can create a lifelong physical or mental disability. Ongoing or long-term injuries can lead a victim to be less favorable or employable than other individuals. If an injury prevents a person’s future income or capacity to generate the same income the disadvantage in the workplace and limit to occupational aspirations can be included in the compensation as a loss of future income and capacity to generate an equivalent income. 5 considerations to review when assessing the value of a loss of future income and earning capacity are:
- What is the existing career path of the damaged party?
- Will the damaged party be less capable of earning income in all avenues of employment?
- Will the damaged party be less marketable to future employers?
- Will the damaged party be left unable to take advantage of future job opportunities and other career advancements?
- Will the damaged party be less able to attain a comfortable income in a competitive labor market?
Loss Of Housekeeping Capacity Compensation
When a serious injury has limited an individuals ability to perform housekeeping or day-to-day household tasks the damages are considered a loss of housekeeping and is often able to receive compensation. Loss of housekeeping capacity is a personal injury compensation that can increase the amount of non-pecuniary damages that can be attained through an ICBC settlement. Loss of housekeeping capacity is a damage that relates to future pain and suffering compensation but is still recognized as a separate type of damage by the BC provincial courts.
“In Trust” Damages Compensation
When friends or loved ones spend their time and money assisting the damaged parties needs such as rehabilitation, time off work, the cost of care, etc. can be included in the ICBC claim settlement as an “in-trust” compensation. “In Trust” compensation is meant to compensate individuals who were indirectly burdened by the injury, it helps to redeem the cost of economic losses or increased expenses/costs that the personal connections of the damaged party had to face during the rehabilitation and claim process.
Cost Of Future Care Compensation
If the injuries incurred due to the accident have long lasting or even life long consequences the future care costs will be ongoing and quite costly. Estimating and getting compensation for the costs associated with future care is part of the ICBC claim settlement, the medical procedures, physical therapy, physical maintenance, as well as facilities and medications needed for ongoing care are part of the settlement value obtained from the ICBC.