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In A Car Accident While At Work?  WorkSafeBC Or ICBC? (Video Blog)

In a car accident while at work? WorkSafeBC or ICBC? (Video Blog)

Injured in a Car Accident While Working – ICBC or WorkSafeBC?

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident while working, you are likely confused about what your options are, and whether you should be making a claim through ICBC or through WorkSafeBC (WCB).

The starting point is this: if you are injured in a single vehicle accident while you were working (for example, your car has run off the road and struck a tree), or you are injured by another motorist who was also operating their vehicle as part of their work at the time of the accident, then you must claim through WCB. You cannot make a claim through ICBC.

On the other hand, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident while working, and the person who caused your injuries was not working at the time, then you can claim through either WCB or ICBC. That is, you have the option, or what lawyers call an election.

So, the obvious question is, why would I choose an ICBC claim or a WCB claim, or vice versa?

The benefit to making a claim through WCB is that WCB is intended to pay all of your rehabilitation expenses, and 90% of the wage loss you experience immediately after your accident.

Notice I said intended. Many people become frustrated with the WCB process and they often do not receive the medical treatment they need because WCB terminates benefits, maintaining the condition pre-existed the accident, or the injuries have become permanent and therefore do not qualify as an ongoing claim.

Seemingly endless reviews and appeals are not uncommon in WCB claims, and injured workers often simply give up on the process out of frustration.

On the other hand, the benefits to making an ICBC claim as a worker who is not at fault for their injures, is that the worker will receive all of their medical expenses, and 100% of their wage loss, as well as additional monies for pain and suffering that WCB does not pay.

These additional monies for pain and suffering can be thousands of dollars per month for each month the injury persists.

However, this compensation must wait until your ICBC claim is fully resolved through either settlement or a court judgment.

In other words, if you elect to go through ICBC when you could have made a WCB claim, ICBC does not have to pay you any wage loss or medical expenses until your claim is fully settled or heard by the court.

On that note, it is important to appreciate two things, 98% of cases settle without going to court, and; some law firms, such as ours, pay for the medical expenses that ICBC does not until your claim is resolved.

So, when it comes to electing between WCB or ICBC, what does all this mean?

It means that the total compensation you will receive from making an ICBC claim will typically be far greater than making a WCB claim, but you will have to wait longer for that compensation.  That said, when recovering from any injury, being patient is always the best strategy.

We hope you have learned something from this week’s blog.  Please feel free to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notice of our future weekly video blogs on the law.  League and Williams is a Victoria, BC based law firm with expertise in injury law, estate disputes and marine law and may be reached via email at or phone at 250-888-0002.  If you are injured and would like a free consult, give us a call for a free consult.  We are here to help injured parties get the fair compensation that they are entitled to.

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