An ICBC settlement can be handled in many ways: in one respect it is a very simple matter. One only need notify an insurance adjuster and providing responsibility for the accident was not your own, there will be some resolution to the file and likely some monetary recovery received.
On the other hand, an ICBC file can be an extraordinarily complex matter. Every policy of car insurance in this province has two components:
The no fault provisions (Part 7) which make up part of the Regulations under the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act and with which ICBC is obliged to comply;
and the Tort portion, which is the right to proceed in an action against the defendant who caused our client economic, physical and/or mental damages.
Part 7 benefits include accident benefits such as the cost of medical, therapeutic and rehabilitative programs, some degree of wage loss (known as TTD’s or Total Temporary Disability payments) pursuant to a schedule, and other services.
In order to qualify for these benefits one must meet the minimal requirements of the Act and establish the need and appropriateness of these benefits.
This can sometimes be complicated in that the insurance adjuster will pay these things only if he or she is satisfied with the documentation provided on behalf of the injured individual.
Assistance may be reqired to put all of the necessary documentation before the adjuster and a court application might be necessary in the event that ICBC disagrees with the interpretation of the documents.
The Tort portion of an ICBC claim essentially says that a individual has the right to collect from the negligent party whatever it takes to be put in as good a position as they were before the accident (in latin: institutio ad integram).
This must be translated into dollars and cents and this is not a simple matter. The value of a claim is based upon what a judge will or will not do based upon the evidence before the court and having regard to what other judges have awarded for other individuals with similar injuries in the past
This is not an exact science.
The value of a claim can be calculated based upon non-pecuniary damages (the pain and suffering component of ICBC claims), past wage loss, future wage loss, loss of opportunity for future benefit, cost of future care, etc
Out of pocket expenses (special damages) and disbursements incurred in proceeding with the litigation can also be recovered. If the matter has gone far enough towards trial there also may be money available for “costs” which are payable directly to the clients to off set the expense of having hired a ICBC lawyer.