The Two Types of ICBC Injury Claims
When people are injured in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia, they may make one or two types of claims, depending on who is at fault for the accident: 1) a Part 7 claim and 2) a tort claim. If an injured person is at fault for the accident, he or she will only be entitled to “accident benefits” (e.g. compensation) pursuant to Part 7 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation. On the other hand, if an person is injured through the fault of another, then he or she is entitled to both Part 7 benefits and a remedy in tort.
Part 7 Accident Benefits
Part 7 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation provides that those injured in a motor vehicle accident , regardless of fault, are entitled to partial compensation for the treatment of their injuries (e.g. physiotherapy, massage therapy, kinesiology, counseling, pain medications, etc.). They may also be entitled to partial compensation if their injuries forced them to purchase housecleaning services or to suffer wage loss. Which particular benefits one is entitled to will depend on the circumstances of each case.
A “tort” is a civil wrong that causes injury resulting in legal liability for the tortfeasor (i.e. the person who committed the tort). Injuries can be physical, emotional, economic, or reputational. While there is such thing as intentional torts, motor vehicle accident litigation most often deals with negligence.
The legal remedy for those who make a claim in tort is money damages (i.e. a monetary award). The purpose of the monetary award is to return victims to the position they were in prior to the tort occurring. This is also referred to as making the victim “whole” again. The types (or “heads”) of damages that one may claim from a motor vehicle accident are as follows:
· Non-pecuniary (general) damages (commonly referred to as “pain and suffering”)
· Loss of housekeeping capacity
· Past wage loss
· Loss of capacity (i.e. future wage loss)
· Cost of future care
· Special damages
The particular heads of damages awarded will depend on the circumstances of each case. Individuals should obtain legal advice if they wish to know what heads of damages are applicable to their case and what their case is worth.