All people in British Columbia are required to carry insurance purchased through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. In the event a person is injured in a motor vehicle accident, he or she may make a claim to ICBC.
Upon receiving a claim, ICBC will send an adjuster out who is tasked with assessing damages. In addition to the property damages to the vehicle, the adjuster will also assess medical care expenses. As people may have ongoing treatment needs, they might try to get an estimate of their ongoing care needs. When a person is in an accident that caused by another driver, he or she may seek tort damages in the claim. These damages may be available for pain and suffering, lost current and future income, ongoing care and other losses. ICBC will make an offer of settlement to those that they agree were injured due to the fault of another driver, but the settlement may not be sufficient in some cases.
People may need the help of a lawyer to negotiate with ICBC in some cases. ICBC’s findings are not binding on a court decision. For example, ICBC may decide a person’s injuries were partly his or her fault, or they may assign all fault to an injured victim. The settlement offered may not cover all of the losses suffered, and ICBC may deny payment of some tort damages that are claimed.
A personal injury lawyer who is experienced with ICBC claims may be able to negotiate a better settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, the lawyer may choose to instead file a civil personal injury lawsuit in court. The court may make a decision based on the evidence presented, and the decision on compensation may be more favourable to the injured person than the offer from ICBC.