How Much is My ICBC Claim Worth?
If you are wondering “how much is my ICBC claim worth?” or what kind of compensation you are entitled to, the dedicated team of professional ICBC lawyers from Linley Welwood can help you properly assess the damages from your accident to ensure that you are receiving the compensation you deserve. Our team has experience handling all kinds of ICBC claims and will always put your best interests first.
Key Factors for Negotiating with ICBC
Some key factors that are important to keep in mind when negotiating with ICBC are:
ICBC Injury Assessment Guidelines
The first step in negotiating with ICBC is having an understanding of their injury assessment guidelines and how it is applied to each claim. While the ICBC injury assessment guidelines process is an internal process and BC courts are not bound by the assessment guide payouts, ICBC will try to convince you that there are maximum amounts that can be paid out based on their own guidelines.
Determining the value of a case begins with taking your evidence, including medical evidence, and applying that against what the courts have ruled on in BC. Since there are thousands of car accident cases settled through the Supreme Courts of British Columbia on a yearly basis, your lawyer has a lot of data to look at and use to develop a value range of your claim to then make a settlement offer to ICBC. If a settlement cannot be reached outside of court, your case will proceed to trial and these precedents will also be used to help a judge value your claim.
Types of Damages
Some of the different types of damages include:
Pain and Suffering
If someone else is entirely at fault for you being injured in an accident, you are entitled to compensation of non-pecuniary losses (pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life). The best way to determine the non-pecuniary value of a claim is to wait until either all of your injuries have been resolved or until your prognosis is known, as this will allow you and your doctor to have a good idea what the future will look like for you living with the chronic or recovering nature of your injuries and how it will continue to impact your life.
Loss of Earning Capacity (Past and Future)
Depending on your injuries and your source of income, you may be entitled to compensation of lost wages in the past and into the future. Much like the other heads of damages, a claim for loss of earning capacity can be reduced to net income lost or property lost if you are partially liable for the accident. In the event that your injuries will cause you to suffer the loss of income beyond a settlement, the settlement should address these future losses, and your lawyer will use a combination of wage loss evidence along with the medical-legal opinion of doctors to prove this.
There are also obligations you have with respect to any potential avenues to recover wage loss benefits through EI, CPP, long-term or short-term disability plans. This can become complicated when determining what ICBC has to pay and, if one of those benefit sources requires repayment, it is best to speak with a lawyer regarding this.
Special Damages (Out of Pocket Expenses)
You may also be entitled to receive compensation for out of pocket expenses. Out of pocket expenses are any reasonable expense incurred as a result of an accident caused by another person, such as dental expenses, hospital fees, vehicle damage repair, homecare, etc. Keep in mind that ICBC funds certain medical benefits under Part 7 of our legislation and they are not obligated to reimburse you for amounts over and above the amounts listed in the legislation. There are also complicating factors with respect to extended health benefits plans and repayment. A lawyer will be able to properly advise you on this matter.
If you would like to learn more about how much your ICBC claim is worth, or if you are interested in one of our legal services for car accidents, please contact Linley Welwood at 604-850-6640 or by filling out a contact form on our website.