Can I Get ICBC Benefits If I’m in a Car Accident on the Job?
If you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you can either file either a workers’ compensation claim or a claim via the ICBC. In the majority of cases, a claim is best filed through the ICBC, but much will depend on the individual circumstances surrounding the accident. If you were at fault for the accident, you cannot file an ICBC claim against the other driver. If you were not at fault, you have alternatives.
The claims process regarding on the job accidents is complex, so you may benefit from consulting with a personal injury lawyer at Preszler Injury Lawyers who can fully explain the process to you and outline the necessary steps to take to receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
The Workers’ Compensation Board, operating as WorkSafe BC, requires anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident while on the job to file a claim with their agency, no matter whether or not you intend to file an ICBC claim. As noted, if you were at fault, WorkSafe BC is your sole choice for receiving lost wages and medical care payments.
There is another situation in which only WorkSafe BC applies, and that is if you and the other driver were both on the job when the accident took place. The Workers’ Compensation Act does not permit one driver to sue another. This holds true whether the accident involved just one vehicle or multiple vehicles.
Keep in mind that it is to ICBC’s advantage to steer employees in these circumstances to WorkSafe BC, and ICBC insurance adjusters will often inform workers that this is their only alternative. However, it is WorkSafe BC that has the right to make such a determination, not an ICBC representative. WorkSafe BC may decide that while you were on the job at the time of the collision, the other driver was not working at the time the accident occurred, or vice versa. For example, if the accident happened during lunch hour, but you were running an errand for your supervisor, and the other driver was running personal errands, then you are likely considered “on the job” while the other driver was not on company time. These decisions usually require a hearing.
Workers’ Compensation vs. ICBC
Overall, an ICBC claim provides more benefits than claims filed through WorkSafe BC, but navigating the distinctions is crucial. Workers’ compensation is unlikely to reimburse all of a patient’s out-of-pocket medical treatment expenses, unlike ICBC.
As of April 2019, ICBC pain and suffering damages for such injuries are subject to a cap of $5,500.
Workers’ compensation should reimburse you for loss of income already experienced, but ICBC will likely offer better compensation for possible future loss of income. A seriously injured person who will need a specialized vehicle for future use would probably not receive it through WorkSafe BC, but ICBC might pay for it.
WorkSafe BC is considered the primary insurer when an accident occurs at work, and ICBC does not have to pay you its accident benefits if you were at fault even if you decide against claiming WorkSafe BC benefits.
ICBC and Legal Representation
If the other driver was at fault and not working at the time of the crash, you can decide to file a personal injury claim and not pursue WorkSafe BC benefits. Filing such a claim means you must hire a lawyer to represent you. It also means you cannot receive ICBC accident benefits while your claim proceeds. This could mean you do not receive coverage for lost wages or medical care during this period, which could last a significant amount of time. These are all important considerations to make when deciding whether WorkSafe BC or ICBC is your best option.
Contact a Vancouver ICBC Lawyer
If you were injured in an on the job car accident, an ICBC lawyer at Preszler Injury Lawyers can review your case and determine whether you are best served by filing a claim through the ICBC or pursuing compensation through workers’ compensation. Schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation by contacting us online or calling 24/7. Since there are tight deadlines in place for filing workers’ compensation claims, time is of the essence when it comes to obtaining legal advice.