Legal Challenge of Recent ICBC Coverage Changes

The recent April 1, 2019 changes to your ICBC coverage is being challenged in the courts by the Trial Lawyers Association of BC. Keith Fraser, from the Vancouver Sun, explains why the Trial Lawyers are filing a lawsuit in the BC Supreme Court. Read his full article below.

B.C.’s trial lawyers are taking the government to court over major changes that went into effect today to the way ICBC claims will be handled.

The Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., which represents more than 1,500 legal professionals in the province, says that the legislated changes, which include a $5,500 cap on claims for minor injuries involving pain and suffering and the establishment of a civil resolution tribunal to adjudicate certain claims, are unconstitutional and should be set aside.

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ICBC puts a cap of $5,500 for pain & suffering awards for most but not all new injuries after March 31, 2019

The British Columbia government has brought in new regulations for how car accident injuries can be handled through the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC). Rob Shaw from the Vancouver Sun has written a very thorough article on the new changes and how they will effect BC drivers. Read his article below or through the Vancouver Sun .

VICTORIA B.C. motorists who get in a car crash today will find themselves test-driving the province’s radically changed auto-insurance system.

A cap of $5,500 on pain and suffering claims for minor injuries in car accidents begins today. It’s part of the largest overhaul to auto insurance since the Insurance Corp. of B.C. was created in 1973.

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How long does it take to settle an ICBC claim for a reasonable amount? What is the importance of a trial date for mva’s before April 1, 2019?

Timing is very important in the settlement of an ICBC claim for a reasonable amount. If someone fully recovers from their injuries and is assured by their medical specialist(s) that they will not have more than very minor future problems, then this is a good time to try to settle your claim with ICBC.

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What are the economics of hiring a lawyer for an ICBC claim & what are “taxable costs” for mva’s before April 1, 2019?

Taxable costs are a contribution towards your legal fees paid on final settlement or court award paid by ICBC. In British Columbia a claim has to be worth more than $35,000 before the claimant is entitled to receive any taxable costs.

This effects how much an injured person receives in their pocket in a settlement or court award. Lawyers are not permitted to charge percentage fees on taxable costs. So the entire amount goes to the client. Continue reading

Is it in my best economic interest to hire a lawyer now for my ICBC claim for my mva before April 1, 2019?

You may be struggling with whether to:

– hire a lawyer as opposed to

– obtaining general legal advice about your ICBC claim. 

Unfortunately, a few younger and less busy lawyers don’t tell people the full or true facts about the pros and cons of hiring a lawyer for their injury claim and sometimes instill fear when they have a duty to be as objective as possible.  Continue reading

If I can’t do all the duties of my own business can I recover from ICBC my cost of hiring help?

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Claimant’s experts out-persuade ICBC’s specialists- judge awards $765,395 for chronic pain

Ms Lauriente was injured in an mva in 2010 & developed chronic neck pain & headaches. The main issue in her trial was whether they impaired her future ability to work full-time as an RN. Dr. Locht, an orthopedic surgeon, assessed Ms. L for ICBC. He wrote that Ms L’s injuries did not give rise to any impairment in her function. The judge dismissed his opinion & wrote that: Continue reading

Judge considers lost promotion chances & reduced pension in $270,000 lost future earning capacity award

Ms Slater, 41, an RCMP officer, was injured in a rear end collision 3.5 years prior to her trial. As a result of her permanent whiplash injuries, she was restricted to ‘desk work’ & would likely never return to active duty. The judge valued her future loss of earning capacity at $270,000 on the basis that Ms S: Continue reading

Judge values chronic shoulder & arm pain at $68,000 & lost housekeeping capacity at $10,000 

Ms Wendt, 55, continued to suffer shoulder & arm pain 3 years after she was rear-ended. ICBC’s lawyers argued that her pain & suffering award should be reduced because she did not fully follow her doctor’s advice, her pain increased after she unwisely moved furniture & she had pre-mva arthritis. Continue reading

Judge disbelieved claimant because his testimony conflicted with other evidence – denies his income loss claims

This case is a great illustration of how judges & also ICBC decide whether or not to believe what a claimant is telling them.  Mr. Nagra claimed at his trial that he lost income & will lose income in the future in his orchard business as a result of the injuries he suffered in his MVA  3 years earlier. The judge entirely rejected these claims.
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Judge awards $10,000 for housework done by her claimant’s family after her MVA

Ms William, 59, claimed that prior to her MVA she did the cooking & cleaning at home without her family’s help. 4 years after her MVA, Ms W still suffers from neck, back & chronic knee pain that limits her daily activity. As a result, her husband & adult son have done most of the cleaning & cooking in their home since her MVA. Continue reading

Claimant’s believability at trial harmed by his non-disclosure to CRA of his tips as a server

Mr. McLatchie, a 46-year-old server, continued to suffer from chronic pain & a psychological reaction 5 years after his MVA. He claimed that his injuries limit his work ability.

At trial, he admitted that he had received tax credits & health benefits from governments by under-reporting his income to the CRA. Continue reading

BC Court of Appeal backs Judge cutting claimant’s damages in half because she stopped psych treatment & didn’t try to return to work

Ms. Mullens continued to experience significant pain & psychological problems 4 years after her accident when she went to trial. Her doctors had recommended more psychiatric treatment & exercise but she did not follow this advice. She also never tried to gradually return to work. Continue reading

Judge awards $180,000 for pain & suffering for permanent chronic pain, PTSD & depression

Ms. Ali, 42, had moderate pain in her chest, wrist, shoulder & back after her MVA.

5 years later at the time of her trial, she continued to suffer from severe back pain that interfered with all aspects of her life. Due to her pain, she became moody & isolated herself from her family. Her psychiatrist diagnosed her with major depressive disorder & PTSD. Continue reading

Study finds association between muscle strengthening activity & lower odds of low back pain

In a study published in August 2017, researchers measured the association between low back pain (LBP) & muscle-strengthening activity (MSA) in adults. They found that engaging in MSA at least 2 times per week was associated with having lower odds of having LBP. However, they found that this association did not hold in male smokers. Continue reading

Judge awards claimant with depression, anxiety & pain $12,631 for future psych treatment & meds

Ms D, 53, was injured in a car accident ten years before her trial. A psychologist that her lawyer referred her to a year before her trial diagnosed her with: major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe driving & other anxiety & severe & constant chronic pain. Continue reading

Judge awards young woman $425,000 for her loss of future earnings due to her inability to pursue a law enforcement career

Ms. Bains was 27 when she was injured in a car accident in 2013. She was interested in finding a career as a law enforcement officer. This would have required her to pass challenging strength & endurance testing.

She claimed at trial 4 years later that she was no longer able to do this work due to her ongoing injuries & limitations. Continue reading

New study finds intensity training better than moderate training for migraine relief

In a new albeit small study, scientists measured the effects of intense training in short spurts versus moderate training over a longer period. They found that the former, called “High Intensity Interval Training” (HIT), improved migraine symptoms more than the latter, called “Moderate Continuous Exercise” (MCT). Continue reading

79-year-old injured woman awarded $205,635 for the cost of her future care

Ms. Paterson, 79, lives on a 20-acre farm near Sooke, B.C. Three years after her car accident she continued to experience chronic neck pain & issues with her mood & memory. Her medical experts wrote that she requires ongoing treatment to manage her symptoms & that she will require assistance in the future with daily activities & house care. Continue reading

PTSD symptoms may have a physical basis in part of the brain, study found

Many people consider PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to be purely a psychological condition but a new study at UC San Diego Health shows that PTSD may have an underlying physical basis.

The UC researchers observed that the brain emotional control centre called the amygdala was larger in head injured individuals who develop PTSD after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) than in those with mTBI who did not develop PTSD. Continue reading

Radio-frequency rhizotomies may work no better than exercise for back pain unless a proper diagnosis is made first

A radio-frequency rhizotomy (or denervation) is a procedure many medical specialists in the field of pain management use to treat patients with chronic back or neck pain caused by proven damage to one or more of their facet joints. These very small joints serve to stabilize between & behind adjacent vertebrae & they can be damaged in vehicle accidents.

Clinical trials with 681 patients with chronic low back pain showed….. Continue reading

Judge finds claimant will never work again after MVA. Awards $550,000 for lost future earnings.

Ms. Cantwell, 35, was born with medical conditions causing her chronic chest pain & mobility issues. Despite these conditions, she lived a full life & worked full time.

After a minor MVA in 2011, she suffered significantly more pain, but she continued to work. In 2013 she experienced a “popping” feeling while shoulder-checking. After that, her chest pain was severe. Continue reading

Small business co-owner awarded $150,000 relating to some of his business losses after mva’s

Mr. Fleming owns 50% of a small business that sells roofing & siding materials. His company was doing well until 2 years before the first of his accidents. It then began losing money.

His accidents caused him lasting low back pain & his company’s losses increased after his first accident. He claimed that his company lost more money than it would have without his injuries. Continue reading

$90,000 pain & suffering award – worsening of pre-mva headaches & permanent neck injury

After Ms. Willet’s car was struck in the rear by a car that attempted to pass her she had pain in her neck, back, right shoulder & right hip.  Seven years later when she went to trial she continued to suffer from neck pain that led to severe migraine headaches. She had a long history of migraines before her accident. Continue reading

Claimant seriously injured at age 16 – judge challenged to value her loss of earning capacity over her lifetime

In order to do this, a judge uses a monetary award to put the claimant in a financial position as close as possible to what she would have been in absent her accident. This involves comparing her working life “absent the accident” to it “as a result of her accident”. This is no easy task with a young claimant who had not even completed secondary school when her accident occurred. The judge awarded Ms Ellis $730,000 for this category of her damages.  Continue reading

 Judge awards $110,000 for pain & suffering – permanent injury to balance system & other injuries 

Mr. Wright, age 56, was rear-ended. This resulted in a balance system disorder called “visual-vestibular mismatch”.

It also caused soft-tissue injuries to his shoulders, neck & back & significant worsening of his depression.

His balance problems caused him to fall & suffer an injury to his groin. Continue reading

Judge awards man $65,000 for his loss of past ability to do housekeeping chores

In 2006 Mr Wright, age 56, suffered dizziness & balance issues from being rear ended. This prevented him from doing basic household chores. Ms Lau, his common-law wife, took on most of the household chores, particularly in the year following the accident. In 2010 Mr W. stopped driving and Ms Lau took on the responsibility of driving him places.  Continue reading

Judge awards $100,000 for pain & suffering to man with chronic pain

Mr. Lafond, 57, continued to have pain in his right shoulder, neck & back as well as ongoing headaches, anxiety & depression at his trial 6 years after his car accident & his future did not look bright. He was a stoic person not given to complaining. Continue reading

Talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter pain meds safely after an mva

Many injured people don’t discuss their use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as Tylenol & Advil, with their doctor. Often this is because they don’t consider them to really be medication since they are not prescribed.

Charles P. Vega, MD, explained the following safety factors he considers when he recommends an OTC pain reliever to a patient: Continue reading

Judge awards $80,000 for pain & suffering to plumber who worked through his long-term pain

Mr. Catling, age 56, was broadsided in a car accident.  Four years later at his trial, he complained of ongoing pain in his back, knees & elbows which doctors diagnosed as moderate soft tissue injuries. 

His work in his own small plumbing business involved very physical labour & working in awkward body positions. ICBC’s medical expert was optimistic about his recovery but the expert hired by Mr. C’s lawyer was quite pessimistic. 

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Injured & getting the feeling that someone is watching you?

If you get the feeling that someone is watching you may be correct. Sometimes an investigator ICBC hires will sit in a parked van on the street where an injured person lives.

ICBC uses this less these days since it now gets some valuable evidence much less expensively by checking claimants’ social media sites, particularly Facebook.

The following are some of the most important aspects of ICBC surveillance.  Continue reading

New large study shows fruits & veggies may help injured people deal with mental stress – at least among women

Many injured people suffer a great deal of psychological stress after their accident. They are often on tight budgets because they are unable to work. Thus they may buy less fruits & vegetables to reduce their grocery bills.
A recent large study involving more than 60,000 Australian participants showed that injured people may unknowingly increase their risk of suffering from post-accident mental stress by eating less fruits & vegetables.
The study also found a surprising difference between men & women. Continue reading

Judge awards $175,000 for pain & suffering – permanent low back & SI joint pain, anxiety & depression

Ms. Kim suffered soft tissue injuries from her mva to her low back & SI joints which caused her significant pain. This pain, combined with her pre-accident personality, resulted in the mental & physical disorders she suffered.

After her trial, the judge concluded that:

  • Ms. K suffered “more than superficial physical injuries”,
  • she had faced very significant mental suffering,
  • her disability was likely permanent &
  • it prevented her from doing activities she enjoyed before her mva, her work & her more difficult household tasks.

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Post-accident depression – clinical study shows that improving one’s diet may help 

Many people injured in vehicle accidents develop depression. Sometimes this is so severe that a physician or psychologist diagnoses the patient as having “clinical depression”. Often this is a result of people realising that their recovery will not be as rapid as they had hoped.

A recent study showed that if people follow a very healthy diet they may be able to:

  •  lower their risk of developing clinical depression or
  • recover from their clinical depression more quickly.

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PTSD – a few of the latest treatments that may greatly help

People injured or insured in BC who suffer PTSD as a result of an mva are entitled to ICBC Accident Benefits. These include funding for psychological treatments & reimbursement for prescribed medications.

There are a few psychotherapy treatments & medications that are shown to be effective in the treatment of PTSD including:

  • prolonged-exposure therapy,
  • cognitive processing therapy,
  • eye movement desensitization & reprocessing (EMDR) &
  • a couple of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s).

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Recent immigrant developed chronic pain after mva – judge awards $900,000 for lost future earning capacity

Ms. Kim had studied to be a dietitian in Korea. She moved to Vancouver with limited English 3 years before her accident & planned to train as a dietitian here. Before her accident, she worked part-time as a waitress & studied English.

After her trial, the judge concluded that she:

  • has chronic back pain & depression,
  • is likely permanently unemployable & overall less capable of earning income for the rest of her life, but
  • may possibly be able to have a less well-paid career as a nutritional aide or waitress.

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 Judge awards $125,000 for pain & suffering to claimant with permanent low back disc injury who exaggerated his disability

Mr. Churath, age 46, was rear-ended in a car accident. Five years later at his trial, he complained of back pain which radiated down to his right foot, continuing disability & resulting depression.

Video ICBC investigators took showed that Mr. C was less limited in his activities than he claimed.

One year before his accident, he suffered a low back disc injury. After surgery, he was left with only minor pain & limitations at the time of his car accident.

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Injured and dizzy? Make sure to clearly describe how you feel – no easy task

Some people injured in car accidents experience what they may call dizziness after their accident. This feeling may persist for days, months or even years. One major problem is that there are several quite different experiences people may have when they use the word “dizziness”. These include feelings:

  • – of spinning or other feelings of movement (which doctors call “vertigo”),
  • – of lightheadedness without a feeling of motion,
  • – that one is going to pass out or faint,
  • – of blurring of vision on movement of one’s head and
  • – of being off-balance or unsteady on one’s feet.

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Judge awarded claimant less because she didn’t do a conditioning program – $65,000 for pain & suffering

Ms. Dupuis, 56, suffered from neck, shoulder, back & hip pain caused by her second accident a month after her first minor one.

When her symptoms did not improve 2 years after her accident, her family doctor recommended she start a conditioning program. She didn’t follow his advice until almost 4 years after her accident when she still had shoulder pain. The judge awarded her $65,000 for the pain and suffering she experienced over those four years and minor problems after that. Continue reading

Effectiveness of Botox in treatment of headaches, migraines & low back pain recently reviewed

Many injured people who do not have a speedy recovery from their injuries are tempted to consider treatment by injections of Botox (Botulinum Toxin).


A pain management physician at the U. of Colorado Health Sciences Centre* wrote an article in Medcape on March 9, 2016 in which she referred to a review of botulinum toxin studies performed by the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology… Continue reading

The efficacy of various treatments for low back pain – American College of Physicians’ guidelines

In 2007 the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society published an article entitled “Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guidline”.


Part of the guidelines dealt with the treatment of low back pain. The subcommittee wrote the following recommendations for each of acute (duration less than 4 weeks), subacute (duration 4 to 8 weeks) and chronic low back pain:  Continue reading

ICBC uses young man’s Facebook posts to greatly weaken his claims for damages

Mr. Dhaliwal was 24 years old when he went to trial. He had posted on Facebook photos & opinions about his job & recreational activities & his thoughts on the police. He claimed that he continued to suffer from neck, shoulder & back pain & that his pain impaired his ability to work.

ICBC’s lawyer used his postings to argue at trial that:

  • he was not believable,
  • he no longer experienced pain &
  • the court should reject his claims that he intended to become a police officer & that he can no longer do this.

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Judge not convinced injury prevented pursuit of PhD but still awarded $125,000 for lost earning capacity

In 2011, Ms. Taba sustained a moderate soft tissue injury to her neck & back & a blow to her head from her accident. She claimed that as a result she could not enroll in a PhD program, which required a major thesis. Instead, she applied for the master’s degree program. She claimed compensation for her reduced future income due to her inability to get a PhD.  Continue reading

Woman in 5 mva’s was at fault for the 1st one – Judge deducts $67,000 from her total award

Ms. Blenkarn was at fault for her 1st accident. She was later involved in 4 more mva’s for which she was not at fault. Her 2nd – 4th mva’s worsened her 1st mva injuries. Her 5th mva was more significant and caused her to stop working because of her headaches.  At trial ICBC’s lawyer argued that:

  • all of Ms. B’s injuries were mainly caused by her 1st accident &
  • thus, her damages should be significantly reduced to account for this.

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Carpenter would not take rehab program recommended by ICBC’s doctor – judge reduces award by 10%

After Mr. Klein’s 2 mvas, he suffered from neck, back & shoulder pain & a fractured tailbone. He returned to part-time carpentry a few months after each mva, but he was forced to take on easier jobs, work fewer hours and rest more. Almost a year after his 2nd mva, he started up his own carpentry company but he worked only 40 – 60 % of what did before his accidents.


ICBC’s lawyer argued at his trial that Mr. K had failed to mitigate (minimize or reduce) his losses because he had failed to:

  • look for non-carpentry jobs &
  •  undertake the rehab program that ICBC’s doctor had recommended.

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Periodic rhizotomies over time will help claimant’s facet joint back pain — $100,000 for lost future earning capacity

Ms. Villing suffered from continuing low back pain at her trial 5 years after her accident. This caused her some difficulty handling her part-time job as a legal assistant.  ICBC hired an orthopaedic surgeon to assess Ms. V. He stated that a procedure called a rhizotomy would improve her back pain but would need repeating over time.


In spite of the optimism of the surgeon ICBC hired, the trial judge awarded Ms. V. $100,000 for her loss of future earning capacity. ICBC appealed this award to the B.C. Court of Appeal. Three of its judges affirmed the trial judge’s award.  Continue reading

New study – yoga & stretching / strengthening / cardio are equally effective for low back pain

The study randomly assigned participants to one of three groups, those in:

  1. weekly yoga classes over 12 weeks, which taught breathing exercises, postures and deep relaxation;
  2. weekly stretching classes which taught aerobic exercises, deep stretches & strengthening exercises focused on the lower body; &
  3. “self-care”. This was the control group. They only received a book with advice on back exercises & how to reduce pain.

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New study questions use of acetaminophen for managing back pain & rec’s physical treatments

A recent medical study shows the ineffectiveness of acetaminophen (Tylenol) in reducing pain & disability for patients with spinal pain or osteoarthritis. It also found that it may have harmful effects on the liver.

The findings from this study emphasize a shift away from pharmacological treatment to non-pharmacological ones. Continue reading

Judge reduces claimant’s damages by 50% because she discontinued psych treatment & didn’t try to return to work

Ms. Mullens continued to experience significant pain & psychological problems 4 years after her accident when she went to trial. Her doctors had recommended more psychiatric treatment & exercise but she did not follow this advice. She also never tried to gradually return to work. Continue reading

 Judge assessed $140,000 for pain & suffering for long-term pain & psych problems – but then cut this in half

Ms. Mullens suffered moderate soft tissue injuries in a car accident. At her trial 4 years later, she continued to suffer from anxiety, depression, panic attacks & chronic headaches, neck & low back pain.

The judge concluded that “from a purely physical point of view she ought to have recovered from her injuries long ago, but the accident triggered ongoing psychological conditions…”

She had not followed several recommendations given by her doctors.  Continue reading

Claimant with uncertain career –  $183,500 for past lost earning capacity before taxes 

Mr. Ilett, 19, attended UVic for a year and then worked as a labourer at Victoria Shipyards for only 2 months when an mva disabled him. A year after his mva he returned to study at UVic.

At his trial Mr. Ilett was not able to give a precise plan for how long he would have worked at the shipyards. His estimates varied from 1 to 5 years. Continue reading

Claimant’s chronic pain much worse after mva— $110,000 for pain & suffering less 50% for his fault

Mr. McNeilly, 52, was suffering from a back injury, degenerative disc disease & severe pain in both feet before his accident. Then he suffered shoulder, hip, neck & chest injuries from his mva.

Two of the main issues at his trial were:

– to what extent his condition was worsened by his mva &

– whether he was partly at fault for his mva.  Continue reading

Bike helmets are designed to prevent skull fractures, not concussions, says Stanford prof 

Dr. David Camarillo is a bioengineering professor at Stanford University & a brain injury expert. His lab has designed a new very large helmet to greatly reduce the risk of brain injury. It provides more space & therefore more time for the head to slow down so that the brain is not bruised by hitting the inside of the skull.  Continue reading

Claimant changed her story between accident & medical assessments – judge rejects all her specialists’ opinions 

Ms. Gill’s lawyer claimed that she will have long-term consequences from a head injury from her car accident. He relied on the opinions of 4 medical specialists he hired to prove her claim.

ICBC’s lawyer claimed that the opinions of those medical experts were wrong because they got the facts wrong from the claimant. Continue reading

Judge penalizes claimant for not disclosing a serious fall & not providing her gp’s report

Three years after Ms. Mohamud’s car accident she fell, was knocked unconscious and was taken to the hospital. She claimed at trial that her fall made her pain worse for only a week. Then it returned to what it was like before her fall.

She did not mention her serious fall to any of the 3 medical specialists her lawyer hired for her case.

Her lawyer did not provide the court with a report from her family doctor (gp). Continue reading

ICBC’s argument – reduce damages because of failure to lose weight after mva – rejected

Mr. Martin suffered neck & back injuries from his mva in December, 2012. He had gained 20 – 25 pounds in 2012 prior to his accident. Between April, 2013 & May, 2015 he attended a physiotherapy exercise program to strengthen his back & abdominal core muscles.

ICBC argued at trial that:

  • Had Mr. M made a reasonable & prompt effort to lose weight and keep that weight off his condition would have improved faster and,

Continue reading

24-Hour expert hotline now available for questions about a concussion

Dr. Jha, a Toronto neurosurgeon, has launched a 24-hour toll-free hotline (1-855-899-5665) for anyone who has or thinks he/she may have sustained a concussion, including after a car accident, and has questions about his/her injury.

Dr. Jha says that, contrary to popular belief, a concussion can be caused by trauma other than a blow to the outside of the head. For example, during a car accident, it is possible to sustain a concussion from one’s brain getting bruised by impact with the inside of one’s skull. Continue reading

Office worker awarded $50,000 for her lost earning capacity – backed up by report of work capacity evaluator

Ms. Virk suffered neck, shoulders & back injuries in an accident. She returned in time to her job as an HR administrator which paid $41,600 per annum. She left this job about 2 years after her accident due to her ongoing pain. After three months at another job, she found her current position as a talent acquisition manager for a marketing company with an annual salary of $63,000. This is $21,400 more than she earned prior to her accident.  Continue reading

Judge orders ICBC to pay claimant the cost of Botox® treatments & Butrans® patch

Mrs. Merko’s two accidents left her with chronic pain which severely impacted her quality of life. Her neurologist who treats her headaches & her GP recommended:

  • an exercise program;
  • Botox® injections for her headaches which got worse after her mva’s &
  • Butrans® patches & other medications to manage her high level of pain.

Continue reading

Judge orders ICBC to pay basic, not extended, disability benefits after it refused to pay them

Ms. Powell’s suffered from neck & upper & lower back pain after her accident. After a short recovery period, she returned to work part-time. She worked for three years part-time but then stopped working because of her ongoing pain.

Ms. P then applied for ICBC basic total disability benefits of only $300 per week. ICBC denied them because she did not receive them within the first 2 years following her accident.

If one is completely disabled from working as a result of a car accident one can apply to ICBC for either basic or extended wage replacement benefits (of up to $700 per week tax free) in accordance with the rules explained below.

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Claimant convinces judge she would have worked two jobs had she not been injured

Ms. Suthakar was injured when another vehicle smashed into her car.  Before her accident, she worked two jobs. She took about three or four months off from work after her accident. She then returned to both of her jobs and claimed damages from ICBC for the income she lost from both of them.
ICBC’s lawyer argued that the driver ICBC represented should only have to compensate her for her loss of income of one of her two jobs. He argued that she would not have continued working two jobs because she was already in a financially comfortable position.
Continue reading

Limited English speaker awarded $350,000 for loss of future earning capacity

Ms. Tan was 52 years old at the time of her mva. She had been working as a room attendant cleaning guest rooms for nearly 16 months at The Westin Wall Centre Hotel (“The Westin”). By her trial date she had not returned to work at her former physically demanding or any job since her mva due to her chronic pain & cognitive & psychological issues.
ICBC’s lawyer argued at trial that:

  • Ms. T’s loss of future earning capacity award should be small and,
  • she will be able to get a job again if it involves her being seated or performing only light-strength work.

Continue reading

72 year old woman’s injuries healed within 3 years after her mva — judge awards her $50,000 for pain & suffering

Ms. Bardua was 72 years old at the time of her mva & was already suffering from back, knee & hip problems. After her accident her pre-accident pain & discomfort worsened & she also began experiencing rib pain.

One issue at her trial was whether Ms. B pain & discomfort had returned to how she was pre-accident.

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Judge slams ICBC with $155,000 in special costs for withholding key surveillance evidence from trial

Ms. Norris, a long-haul truck driver, claimed at her trial that she was permanently disabled due to her accident & was unable to ever work again.

ICBC disregarded a court order that its lawyer provide a list about three weeks before Ms. N’s trial of the dates & length of each surveillance video its investigators had taken. ICBC did not disclose the hours of surveillance footage its investigators took in 2015 until near the end of the civil jury trial. Some of the clips pictured Ms. N in a clearly weakened state and one critical video clip pictured Ms. N as she entered a Starbucks, sat down, collapsed and was then taken away by an ambulance. They would have assisted Ms. N in her case.

On August 8th 2016, Justice Gordon Funt condemned and punished ICBC for its actions.

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$180,000 awarded to PTSD victim for her pain & suffering— judge rejects ICBC’s psychiatrist’s opinion

Ms. Jossy was in an accident in 2011. It resulted in ankle surgeries, neck, shoulder & back pain & disabling psychological injuries. She had struggled with her mental health before her mva as she had experienced severe emotional & physical childhood trauma. However she had greatly improved before her accident. After it, these problems worsened to the point that she was hospitalized in 2014.

ICBC hired Dr. Milanese, a psychiatrist. He assessed Ms. J., prepared a report & testified at her trial. He downplayed her condition & stated that:

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Claimant’s damages not reduced even though she refused medication & yoga

Ms. Kaler’s mva’s left her with chronic pain & cognitive & psychological problems. 2 years after her last mva she stopped attending yoga & also stopped taking her pain medication.

At trial ICBC’s lawyer argued that:

  • Ms. K was unreasonable to stop her medication & yoga &
  • her award for damages should therefore be reduced.

Continue reading

Judge orders ICBC to reimburse claimant for the cost of a private MRI

As a result of his accidents, Mr. Uppal suffered from back pain which radiated down his lower leg. On doctor’s orders, he went for an MRI to determine the exact cause of his symptoms.  He went to a private facility for his MRI and paid out-of-pocket instead of waiting to obtain a free MRI at a hospital.

At issue was whether or not it was reasonable for Mr. U to obtain a private MRI when public healthcare is free.

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Court values brain injured claimant’s lost future earning capacity at $4,533,000 U.S.

David Mackey was 17 years old when he was visiting BC from the US. He was swinging on a severely corroded lamp post. It broke & he fell ten meters below. & suffered a severe brain injury.

Mr. Justice Macintosh heard a 34 day trial to assess relative degrees of fault and Mr. Mackey’s damages including his loss of future earning capacity.

Mr. Mackey’s lawyers argued that absent his accident he would have become an orthopaedic surgeon in the USA even though he was still in high school when he was injured.

The defence argued that the claimant’s scholastic performance up to the accident date would have barred him from achieving the qualifications needed to eventually become an orthopedic surgeon.

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Judge hugely cuts back woman’s claim for past & future lost housekeeping capacity

Ms. Dabu suffered injuries to her neck, back & shoulder in an mva. She claimed at trial that her ability to do the housework she previously did remained very limited. Her husband and children took on almost all of the cooking, cleaning and gardening duties she did before her mva.

She claimed compensation of $20,000 for past and $84,000 for future loss of housekeeping capacity.

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Claimant not penalized for refusing anti-depressants & counselling— judge found reasonable

Mr. Moini experienced pain & depression that were worsened by his 3 car accidents. A few months after his first accident, he stopped taking his anti-depressant medication because he found that it made him dizzy, drowsy & unable to concentrate & work. Mr. M also stopped attending psychological counselling after a few sessions because he found it “completely unhelpful”.

At trial ICBC’s lawyer argued that:

  • he failed to mitigate his losses by not attending counselling & taking anti-depressants;

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Court reimburses claimant for subcontractor he hired after accident but only for first 4 months

Mr. Bramley suffered injuries in a car accident. As a result, he was unable to do manual labour for a period of time. He hired a subcontractor to replace him in his business for 4 months & then hired him as an employee for almost a year.

He claimed in court that he would not have paid the man who was his subcontractor absent his accident.
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