Why Fault Matters in Your ICBC Case

In a car, motorcycle, or truck accident case the determination of fault will play a big role in how your case progresses. This is because ICBC pays out three types of benefits.


You can expect ICBC to investigate crash responsibility for every claim. We do too, so that we can help you get the money you deserve. It’s not uncommon for ICBC’s determination of crash responsibility to be self-serving and unfair.


Part 7 No-Fault Benefits


It is cheaper for ICBC to declare each person in an accident as roughly 50% at fault. When they can do that, they only have to pay the Part 7 no fault benefit.


This pays medical care and recovery costs up to $300,000 and wage loss benefits of up to $740 per week. If you have collision coverage they’ll also pay for damages to your vehicle, as well as towing, storage, and salvage disposable.


For many minor accidents Part 7 benefits are more than enough to cover whatever Medicare won’t. That’s not the case for catastrophic industries, which may rob you of your long term health and which may require far more medical care. Often these medical costs far exceed both the $300,000 benefit and what Medicare covers.


Third Party Benefits


When you are not the at-fault party then you can make a claim for third-party benefits. You can even make a $200,000 claim if you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, or by an uninsured driver.


Yet the amount of that claim can be reduced by the percentage of fault that gets assigned to your case.


So if you’re found to be 30% at fault your benefits will reduce by that much.


These are the benefits that pay in excess of the $300,000 accident benefits and the $740 a week wage loss benefits. They’re also the benefits that pay for pain and suffering. ICBC has a lot of incentive to try to minimize the amount of third party claims they will or must pay.


Premium Increases


ICBC has another dirty trick: if they can say you were more than 25% at fault for your accident then they can raise your premiums for their mandatory service, and can do this at a time when you’re more likely to be struggling financially.


When you see it all together it becomes very obvious that ICBC’s determination of fault is unlikely to be in your best interests, especially not the first time around, when they’re hoping you’ll just accept what they have to say.


How can an ICBC lawyer help?


An ICBC lawyer can help set the record straight with cold, hard evidence. We know all of ICBC’s tricks and can point out all the flaws in their arguments about fault. It’s our job to push your percentage as low as possible so your payout can be as high as possible.


Not sure whether you were at fault or not? Take advantage of one of our free consultations so we can help you analyze your case.

About Donald I.M. Outerbridge

Donald became the Executive Director of Merchant Law Group LLP starting in 1993, nearly 30 years ago. His experience managing law firms at various levels and in multiple provinces across Canada goes back even further to 1981.