ICBC Minor Injury Caps
In 2019, ICBC implemented a cap for the amount of pain and suffering compensation available to be paid out to those who have sustained minor injuries in a road accident. For those who were injured in an accident from April 1st, 2019 to March 31st, 2020 the maximum amount is $5,500. For those injured from April 1st, 2020 to March 31st, 2021 the cap is $5,627 and for those injured on or after April 1st, 2021, the maximum compensation will be $5,672.
The following injuries are generally deemed minor by ICBC:
- Cuts, bruises, and scrapes
- General aches and pains
- Road rash
- Minor jaw injuries
- Mild concussions
- Short-term mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries Sustained in 2020
Because of the cap on compensation for minor injuries beginning in 2019, all injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents taking place in 2020 will be subject to the cap unless they are deemed to be severe. If an injury causes significant impairment for an extended period of time to your ability to carry out daily essential tasks such as working, going to school, or childcare, it is not considered minor. Even if an injury is deemed minor soon after your accident but continues to impair your ability to carry out essential tasks for more than 12 months, it can be considered a severe injury and the cap will no longer apply. However, you will need to produce proof that this is the case.
Furthermore, even if ICBC determines that your injuries are minor, you have the right to be fully compensated for your income loss if your motor vehicle accident happened after April 2019, but before May 2021.
Past Income Loss compensates you for loss of income up to the date of trial or settlement. Past Income Loss is determined on the basis of what you would have been able to earn had you not been involved in a motor vehicle accident. The recovery of loss of income is not more than the net income loss that you suffered in the period before settlement or trial.
Loss of Future Capacity to Earn Income is awarded or received in a settlement when your injuries result in permanent or ongoing disabilities at the time of trial or settlement. Damages may be awarded if the Court or ICBC finds that there is a real or substantial possibility that you have suffered a loss of income-earning capacity in the future as a result of injuries sustained in the motor vehicle accident. In most cases, ICBC will deny you Loss of Future Capacity to Earn Income claim, unless they are facing the possibility that your claim will proceed to trial.
When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is essential to seek medical attention quickly, get a proper diagnosis and speak with a personal lawyer. This is because, even if your injury causes significant impairment, if it is not properly diagnosed by a professional, ICBC will not consider it a severe injury and you will not receive appropriate compensation. Furthermore, without the legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer, ICBC is likely to deny any Loss of Future Capacity to Earn Income claim you may make.
Seek Legal Assistance
“Enhanced Care” came into effect on May 1, 2021. Motor vehicle accidents that happened on or after May 1 follow the rules of “Enhanced Care” and the information on this page may not apply.
“Enhanced Care” is a form of no fault insurance that essentially provides British Columbians with “benefits” much like WorkSafeBC. There is no longer full compensation for all of your losses. ICBC has the full power to deny or approve your benefits – you cannot challenge ICBC’s decisions in a court of law.
Let’s look at how ICBC’s no fault insurance deals with wage loss. If an injured claimant’s injuries prevent them from working, there is potentially income replacement from ICBC’s no fault insurance scheme. This has to be approved, however, by the ICBC adjuster assigned to your case. The new law provides income replacement up to 90% of net income to a maximum of $1,200.00 per week. If you earn more than this maximum amount, then too bad. You are stuck with the limit and you will not have any ability to recover all of your income loss. If you are just starting your career when the motor vehicle accident occurred, then your income loss replacement will not take into consideration what your future earnings would have been. Instead, your benefits will be based only on what you were earning at the time of the collision.
Navigating ICBC is complicated, difficult, and not recommended to tackle on your own without qualified legal help. If you have incurred a road-accident injury in 2020 or anytime prior to May 2021, hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that you get as much compensation as you are eligible for. Because you have a two-year limitation period from the date of your motor vehicle accident, it is always a good idea to reach out to a personal injury lawyer quickly. At Hoogbruin & Company, our lawyers have extensive experience dealing with ICBC and are dedicated to getting our clients the best outcome possible.