British Columbia personal injury claims are different than anywhere else in the world for two mains reasons: 1. The creation of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, and 2. the limited access to private healthcare.
In Canada less than 30% out of the 2.29 million people injured annually go to a hospital emergency room within 48 hours of their personal injury. Given the limitations of our universal healthcare system only about one in six consult their doctor, 13% went to a clinic, and 17% sought other types of treatment such as physiotherapist, massage therapist or chiropractor. The lack of medical investigation will negatively impact making a personal injury claim to a private insurer or government body and limit the financial recovery of the claimant.
One solution is to pay for private healthcare such as an ambulance, clinic, emergency rooms, CT and MRI scans. The Canada Health Act forbids extra billing but the rules do allow doctors to practice outside the provincial system. Fill out an injury claim applications right away and submit all private healthcare receipts when received. Consider retaining a legal advocate right away to ensure your injury is properly documented for the purpose of a personal injury claim.
If injured as a result of a car, motorcycle, scooter, bus, pedestrian, or bike accident the claimant will most often need to make a claim with ICBC. ICBC is one of the largest auto insurers in North America and has a legislated monopoly in third party liability coverage in BC. The solution is to hire a personal injury lawyer which is commonly done in BC with no upfront legal fees. Lawyers can take personal injury cases on a percentage and are only paid if they get the claimant a money award and are paid at the end of a case.
British Columbia is unique and the documents required to make and file a personal injury claim will depend on the Provincial insurer or government body. Talk to a personal injury lawyer for a free legal consultation and watch our short video about how to file a personal injury compensation claim in BC.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.