Personal Injury Lawyer Jacqueline Small has forced ICBC to pay disability benefits denied for almost 6 years in a car accident injury case. This decision is a stinging indictment of ICBC’s systematic use of hired guns to deny legitimate disability benefits. The Supreme Court Judge called the opinion of ICBC’s doctor Sovio deficient. Dr. Sovio did not provide a clear opinion on disability from employment but encouraged the claimant to be physically active and to “get back to a normal working schedule”.
If an employee can establish that she has suffered a loss in exchange for obtaining wages during the time that she could not work, then the employee should be compensated for that loss. Also if an employee receives wages when she is not working, she is giving up a quid pro quo for that benefit and it can be implied, if the contract of employment is not explicit, that the exchange for sick days is equally real. As the judge stated in this case:
 … there is no doubt that the plaintiff was off work due to injuries sustained in the accident during the initial period of disability. There is also no doubt that she was paid her usual wages. There must have been a quid pro quo for that benefit, even though the plaintiff failed to prove specifically that she used vacation time for that benefit. The letter from the employer could be used for the limited purpose of corroborating the plaintiff’s evidence that there was an exchange, but not for the substance of the exchange. In this circumstance, the plaintiff has established a prima facie case of loss that has not been met by conflicting evidence from the defendant. The plaintiff has established a loss during the initial period of disability and that part of the claim is allowed. (P. v. ICBC, 2016 BCSC 1432)
Personal injury lawyers in BC need to know therefore that if a claimant can establish she was receiving vacation pay during the time she was unable work, then the claimant should be compensated for that loss and can use that period of loss to qualify for ICBC disability benefits. Keep reading to learn more about whether ICBC pays for lost wages.