If you have incurred an injury that has been life changing for you, you most likely think of it as anything but minor. However, ICBC may not agree with you. If you have sustained an injury in a road accident, it is important to have a good understanding of how ICBC deems an injury minor or not and what your rights are if you disagree with ICBC’s categorization of your injuries as minor. This is particularly important for any motor vehicle accident that happened between April 2019 and May 2021.
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How Does ICBC Determine a Minor Injury?
ICBC often deems injuries minor when the injured party feels differently. This has been especially common since 2019, when ICBC implemented a cap on the amount payable to those with minor injuries. Since the cap came into play, it is in ICBC’s best interest to categorize as many injuries as possible as “minor.” ICBC generally considers the following to be minor injuries:
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Chronic pain
- Jaw injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and other psychological conditions
Your injury may have been determined to be minor after the crash, but if the injury causes serious impairment to your life for more than 12 months – for example, you’re still not able to go to work or school, causes a substantial inability to work your regular hours or duties, or you’re unable to care for yourself – it may no longer be considered minor and may not be subject to the payment limit.
In the case of concussions or mental health conditions, the limit on pain and suffering may not apply if there is incapacity beyond 16 weeks.
If you have not gotten an official medical diagnosis, your case will be categorized as minor injury, even if your capacity to do essential tasks has been significantly impaired. It is very important to seek medical attention, attain a proper diagnosis and speak to a lawyer in order to get the compensation that you are entitled to.
What Can I Do if I Disagree with ICBC’s Decision?
If ICBC has deemed your injuries minor but you disagree, you have the right to challenge the decision through the Civil Resolution Tribunal or through our Court system. In order to successfully challenge ICBC’s decision, you must produce evidence that your injury has significantly impaired and continues to significantly impair your ability to carry out your work, education and/or essential daily tasks of living. Proving significant impairment can be difficult and complicated, so you should always seek professional legal assistance when challenging an ICBC ruling. Our lawyers at Hoogbruin & Company have extensive experience with ICBC and know exactly what is necessary to win your case. Get in touch today for a free consultation to determine your best course of action.