What Kind of Damages Can I Seek After a Car Accident?
Few events are as stressful as getting into a car accident. In the short-term, you may require extensive medical treatment. In the long-term, you may be unable to work or face difficulties returning to the job you had before the accident. Both of these short-term and long-term effects are accompanied by significant financial challenges in addition to the physical, emotional, and mental difficulties that often arise after an accident.
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) provides benefits to those who have been injured in car accidents and crashes involving other motor vehicles. The benefits you are eligible to receive will depend on the nature and severity of your injuries, but they are available regardless of your level of fault in the accident.
If, however, you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be eligible for additional compensation via a personal injury tort claim.
The car accident lawyers at Klein Lawyers have years of experience with ICBC claims and personal injury torts arising from car accidents. Please call (604) 874-7171 today for a free review of your case. Our lawyers serve clients in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.
ICBC Benefits in Car Accident Cases
After a crash, ICBC Accident Benefits are available to drivers and passengers of the vehicles involved. To access these benefits, you will need to file a “Part 7” claim with ICBC. This section of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation governs the benefits provided under ICBC’s “no-fault” insurance system.
Part 7 benefits cover the following losses:
ICBC will pay for medical treatment and rehabilitative care up to certain thresholds. These thresholds vary based on when your accident occurred:
- If the car accident happened on or after April 1, 2019, ICBC covers medical costs up to $300,000
- If the accident occurred before April 1, 2019, ICBC coverage for medical expenses is limited to $150,000
Accident Benefits cover the costs of emergency treatment and visits to your healthcare provider, as well as expenses related to:
- Treatment for dental injuries sustained in the accident
- Chiropractic treatment
- Sessions with a registered massage therapist
- Counselling and psychiatric care
- Occupational therapy
- Home support
Doctors and other medical providers you see for these services may bill ICBC directly, or you will have to submit receipts to ICBC for review so you can be reimbursed.
Accident Benefits may also pay expenses associated with home and lifestyle modifications after a car accident. This may include installation of a ramp inside or outside of your home, installing a lift on your vehicle, and more.
Accident Benefits also cover a portion of the income you lose if you are unable to work as a result of the car accident. Your injuries must be reviewed and certified by a nurse practitioner before you can start receiving wage loss assistance.
Like the benefits for medical expenses above, the maximum amount in benefits you can receive differs based on the date your accident took place:
- If the car accident happened on April 1, 2019, or after that date, you are eligible for up to $740 a week in replacement wages
- If the car accident happened prior to April 1, 2019, ICBC provides wage loss assistance up to $300 per week
The amount you receive in wage loss assistance may vary from these numbers. ICBC determines your weekly benefits by calculating 75% of what you make per week. If that amount is lower than the maximum benefits, you will receive less than the maximum.
In addition to wage loss assistance for those who can’t return to work after a car accident, ICBC Accident Benefits are also available for homemakers. Once again, the amounts available depend on the date of the accident:
- Up to $280 in benefits per week is available if the accident occurred on or after April 1, 2019
- Up to $145 in benefits per week is available if the accident occurred before April 1, 2019
These benefits are designed to offset the cost of hiring help to perform household tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and more.
Car Accident Injury Tort
The Accident Benefits described above are provided on a no-fault basis. This means your eligibility for benefits doesn’t change whether you caused the accident or not. If it is determined, however, that the other driver is at fault for the accident, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury tort claim.
Simply put, a tort is a lawsuit. It seeks to hold one or more parties accountable for the losses you have suffered. Our car accident lawyers will pursue compensation for all of the damages you have suffered. This may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of future wages, if you are unable to go back to work
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
As the insurer for all motorists in British Columbia, ICBC will be involved in your car accident tort. When you pursue a tort claim, you will likely be offered an ICBC injury claim settlement.
Injury Claim Settlement
Once ICBC offers you a settlement, you have the option to accept or make a counter offer. It is important that the amount ICBC offers to settle your case accounts for all of your damages. Our lawyers will assist you with calculating the amount of compensation you need for your car accident injuries, as well as dutifully represent your interests in settlement negotiations.
At Klein Lawyers, we are frequently able to negotiate satisfactory ICBC settlements on behalf of our clients. However, if the settlement is unfair, our lawyers can negotiate a counter offer on your behalf. And, in the event that a settlement agreement cannot be reached, we can assist you with filing a dispute through the Civil Resolution Tribunal or the Supreme Court of British Columbia.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
Both the ICBC claims process and personal injury torts are complicated. ICBC representatives may not explain your full rights and options after a car accident, which is why it is so important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
To find out how Klein Lawyers can help with your car accident claim, please call (604) 874-7171 today for a free consultation. Our team serves clients in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia.