Getting legal advice
If you've been injured in a crash, you may be wondering whether you can or should get a lawyer to help you with your claim, especially given recent changes to ICBC insurance.
Whether or not you retain a lawyer is entirely your choice. However, there are options that can help you resolve disputes without the need for legal representation.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT)
The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is an independent dispute resolution service focused on helping parties reach an agreement wherever possible. The CRT can look into disputes between customers and ICBC on matters such as entitlement to accident benefits, disputes about property (vehicle) damage, personal injury damages or responsibility (fault) assessments up to $5,000.
For disputes about:
How injuries were classified (minor or non-minor).
Bodily injury, disputes about damages and fault up to $50,000.
The customer can choose whether to pursue their dispute in the CRT or file their claim in court, if the crash occured before May 1, 2021.
The right to hire a lawyer
Anyone in B.C. can hire a lawyer for legal advice or to represent them in their claim – recent changes to insurance have not changed this fundamental right. The decision to hire a lawyer is yours, and may depend on factors such as time, cost and the complexity of your claim.
Injury claim settlements
For crashes that happened after May 1, 2021, there are no injury claim settlements paid out because all your care and recovery costs are covered under Enhanced Care.
However, there are some instances where you can still sue. For example, if you’re injured in a crash and the at-fault driver is convicted of certain Criminal Code offences, such as impaired driving, you can still sue the other party in a civil claim for certain damages. You may be able to sue some other parties, such as vehicle manufacturers, if their actions have contributed to the crash. If minor injury compensation applies, the payout limit for crashes that happened on or after April 1, 2023 is $6,181. For crashes that happened on or after April 1, 2022, the limit is $5,831. For crashes that happened between May 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022, the limit is $5,672.