No Fault Benefits
You are still entitled to benefits from ICBC even if you are responsible for a car accident. Any British Columbian injured in a car accident has some coverage available to them for medical costs and wage losses. These entitlements are sometimes called “no-fault” or Part 7 benefits. So what exactly are they?
You’ve been hurt in an accident and now have bills for medication and treatments like physiotherapy, massage therapy, and a chiropractor. Your doctor may have recommended you take time off work in order to recuperate and you’ve now lost wages. If you don’t have private insurance or disability plans then you may be entitled to Part 7 benefits to cover a portion of these out-of-pocket expenses.
Under your insurance contract with ICBC, they have agreed to pay for a portion of your medical expenses. This means anything from medication, to physiotherapy, to other less common treatments as long as they have been recommended and are necessary for your recovery. If ICBC agrees that a treatment is necessary, they will pay for the majority of the treatment cost, leaving you to pay a ‘user fee’ that is a small portion of the overall cost. If you are not at fault for the accident, the user fee can be recouped through a personal injury claim.
If you have missed work, ICBC may also be required to pay up to $300 per week to cover your lost wages. There are some hoops to jump through before you are entitled to this benefit since ICBC is considered an “insurer of last resort”. You have to exhaust your other options to cover your wages before ICBC will pay you.
There are strict timelines and obligations you must fulfill to get these no-fault benefits. There are also certain restrictions on when and how much these benefits are payable. You should speak to a lawyer immediately following your accident in order to get the most out of your benefits.