Major changes to Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) auto accident policies went into effect on April 1, 2019. These changes, for the most part, only apply to those who were injured in a crash on or after April 1, 2019. Those injured prior to that will not be adversely impacted.
According to ICBC’s website, these changes were implemented because crashes, injury claims, and repair claims have hit an “all time high” and the company’s goal is to “get the insurance system back on track.”
What many people in British Columbia understandably want to know is how these changes will affect them if they’re involved in a crash.
The changes include a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering payouts for car accident victims with “minor injuries,” such as sprains, strains, and whiplash.
Also, small settlement cases will now be heard by the Civil Resolution Tribunal instead of in courtrooms. The Tribunal will determine which claims are minor and which are not. Even if a claim is more than a minor claim, the Tribunal still has jurisdiction for awards up to $50,000.
BC is one of the last provinces to introduce limits on pain and suffering compensation for people who suffer minor injuries in automobile accidents. Because medical bills, legal fees, and lost wages due to minor injuries fall under a separate category, they are not affected by the $5,500 cap.
According to figures from ICBC, the cost of an average claim was around $8,000 in 2012. By 2016, the amount increased to over $30,000, and the payout for pain and suffering for minor injuries was $16,500 on average.
How Does the ICBC Change Affect My Case?
The new ICBC changes are far-reaching and comprehensive. BC had a full tort system and now we have been left with something very close to total no-fault.
While the changes will have a major impact on car accident claims, it is difficult to determine the exact extent at this point.
Klein Lawyers LLP will continue to provide the highest-quality legal services to our clients. We will continue to monitor how these changes will impact accident victims, but if you were injured in a crash on or after April 1, 2019, you need to know that your ability to secure compensation for damages has been significantly reduced.
Which Treatments Are Covered?
ICBC Part 7 “No-Fault” benefits have been enhanced, meaning most of your treatment costs will be covered, but only up to a certain rate and for a certain number of treatments. These treatments must be completed within 12 weeks. Also, all receipts for any expenses must be submitted within 60 days or they will not be reimbursed.
Talk to a Knowledgeable BC Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you are injured in a car accident, it can be challenging to determine what you can obtain compensation for, what your injury claim might be worth, and what is expected of you. Now more than ever, the guidance of a lawyer is essential for helping you navigate through this complex legal process.
The car accident lawyers at Klein Lawyers LLP have the knowledge and legal experience necessary to handle your ICBC claim. Let us take on the legal heavy lifting so you can focus on your health and recovery in the wake of the accident.
At Klein Lawyers LLP, we provide a No Fee Guarantee®, meaning that if we do not win or settle your car accident case, you will not be charged. Contact us today by phone or online to schedule a free initial consultation.