February 25, 2021 by Dan Shea
Our lawyers at FH&P are skilled and experienced advocates in personal injury-related disputes, including brain injury, spinal cord injury, wrongful death and major trauma. The primary objective of our team is to obtain the full compensation and benefits for our clients to which they are legally entitled.
Following a car accident, a determination of fault will be announced. If it is concluded that you are indeed at fault, there are still steps with your basic insurance you will be able to take in making a claim including those in the ICBC "Part 7" benefits. Associate Dan Shea explains.
Today I’m going to talk to you about the benefits that are available to you after you have an accident in British Columbia assuming that you have the regular ICBC insurance.
The question often comes up often is: can I claim benefits from ICBC even if I'm at fault for the accident? The short answer to that is absolutely, yes you can, as you are covered under your insurance and there are benefits available. You might hear those referred to as what are called “Part 7 benefits” and that’s because it's Part 7 of the insurance regulations in British Columbia that allow for these types of benefits.
Everyone in British Columbia who has an ICBC insurance policy has what is called "basic insurance". Even if you are found 100% responsible for an accident or for a crash your ICBC basic insurance will pay for a number of things, and those include your medical and rehabilitation expenses, it will cover your wage loss to a certain extent and those are the two things that are typically captured by Part 7 benefits. It will also cover damages owed to other parties affected by the crash up to a minimum amount of $200,000. So even if you are at fault for an accident and someone else is injured your basic insurance would cover that person's damages up to $200,000.
There are other types of insurance you can have on top of your basic insurance, one of those is called “additional optional coverage” and you can get that though ICBC or you can also get it through third-party insurers here in British Columbia. That covers damages over and above that $200,000 limit so if there is someone in an accident with you that was injured and they sue you they might recover more than $200,000 and your optional insurance would cover that. You can also get collision insurance which would cover damages or repairs to your own vehicle, not everyone has it but most people do.
The more important thing for today's purposes is that basic insurance in those Part 7 benefits, those are the benefits that you have even if you are at fault to rehabilitation and to wage loss benefits. So what's covered under those?
Accident benefits are available to anyone in British Columbia who is injured in a motor vehicle accident no matter who is responsible. Those accident benefits pay for your medical care and for your recovery costs. About a year ago the limits for those benefits were increased up to $300,000 so there's a significant pot of money available for those treatments which can include a wide variety of things like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, registered massage therapy, clinical counselling, psychological services and kinesiology. There's a whole host of things that are specifically listed in the accident benefit regulations.
Accident benefits can also cover things like dental care if you have a dental injury, alternative therapies of some types, things that are recommended by your doctor and in some cases ICBC has the discretion to allow those to be covered under Part 7 as well and home support if it's needed after an injury so housekeeping services may be covered to a certain extent. So that's all part of the Part 7 benefits but the other Part 7 or basic accident coverage is a wage loss component so if you are unable to work because of an injury after an accident your accident benefits will cover wage loss payments up to $740 per week if you are unable to work for a certain period of time you can get those temporary total disability or partial disability payments. The other thing as I said earlier is that your damages under your basic insurance to third party liability are covered up to $200,000. Those are all available to you under the basic insurance whether or not you are at fault. So just because there's a determination that you might be responsible for the accident it doesn't mean that you are in the cold, there are still things available to you under your insurance and you have that coverage whether or not you are at fault for the accident.