What does minor injury mean? The ICBC definition only relates to car accidents after April 1, 2019. This stipulative definition captures almost all serious auto injuries.
Yes, ICBC defines most serious auto injuries as minor injury. This is because ICBC pays less money for those injuries.
ICBC adjusters have no legal duty to explain or define this term. However, adjusters have the power to apply minor injury to your case. If applied, your claim will be severely limited.
Here is what you need to know to protect yourself from ICBC:
Application of TermMinor Injury
The definition applies to all auto accidents: pedestrians; cyclists; passengers; and innocent drivers. The ICBC Minor Injuries definition does not apply to accidents before April 1, 2019.
ICBC assumes all injuries are minor. It is the responsibility of the claimant to prove an injury is serious. Therefore, understanding the meaning will prevent low, unfair compensation.
The Insurance (Vehicle) Act and Minor Injury Regulations contain the legislative definition.
Summary: ICBC Minor Injury applies to all auto injuries after April 1, 2019.
Cap on Pain and Suffering
What is the Minor Injury Cap? This is a financial limit on claims for general damages. This definition therefore limits pain and suffering claims. However, this not a limit on wage loss.
ICBC will define most injuries as “minor” after April 1, 2019 . That’s because the law only requires ICBC is to pay $5,500 max for pain and suffering.
Beginning on April 1, 2020 the ICBC injury cap on pain and suffering will slightly increase. A formula set out in legislation determines the limit annually.
Summary: $5,500 limit on claims for pain and suffering.
When “Minor Injury” Does Not Apply
Serious impairment, incapacity, and permanent disfigurement are excluded. Serious impairment is from work, school or daily activities. The injury must cause serious impairment for at least 12 months after the accident.
The impairment must result in a substantial inability. Inability to perform employment, schooling, or daily living.
There must be efforts to accommodate the impairment. However, it may not be reasonable for an employer or school to accommodate. Also, efforts must be made to continue employment, schooling or daily living.
The accident has to be the primarily cause of the serious impairment. The impairment has to be ongoing since the accident.
In addition, there can be no expected substantially improvement.
Summary: Does not include impairment for longer than 12 months, incapacity, and permanent disfigurement .
List of ICBC Minor Injuries
Defining this term by listing the prescribed injuries is not complete. However, the following injuries that do not result in a serious impairment,
incapacity, or permanent disfigurement are considered by ICBC as minor injury:
Cuts and bruises (abrasions, contusion, lacerations);
Sprains or strains;
Psychological or psychiatric condition;
Concussion that does not result in an incapacity;
TMJ disorder (jaw);
Whiplash injury (WAD – whiplash associated disorder); and
Further injuries as may be added.
Defined as Minor Injury if not Following Treatment
An injury is minor if you fail to comply with treatment. Despite whether the injury results in a serious impairment.
Also, an injury is minor if you fail to seek a diagnosis. As a result, ICBC will call it minor injury if you have not seen a doctor.
Therefore, if recommended treatment is not followed a serious injury will still be considered minor. However, there are exceptions if treatment would not have helped.
Summary: No doctor or treatment, an injury is defined as minor injury .
Get legal advice for auto injuries as early as possible. We offer free legal advice and affordable legal services. Learn more about the ICBC injury caps 2019.