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Changes to ICBC payouts for people involved in serious crashes

Last Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 2:42 pm PDT

(Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

People seriously injured are eligible for up to $300,000

BC Disability Association says it's an important step, but more can be done.

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Some changes from ICBC for people get who get payouts after being involved in a crash.

The province says anyone seriously injured in a crash on or after January 1, 2018 will now be eligible to get up to $300,000 towards their medical care and recovery — that’s double the previous amount.

“This is the first major improvement to ICBC’s accident benefits in more than 25 years, made possible by reining in out-of-control legal and other costs, which will also put ICBC on the road to fiscal sustainability,” says Attorney General David Eby.

Jane Dyson with the BC Disability Association says the DABC has been advocating for changes like these for more than a decade.

“This is a huge improvement to what people have had to live with in previous years.”

However, she believes the government could do better. “We worked for many years to convince both governments and ICBC of the need for this change and it wasn’t until last year that we really started making headway and we were told ‘Yes, we agree with you’,” she says.

Video courtesy ICBC:

“If you have a catastrophic injury and you require a very complex wheelchair you might want to buy [new] transportation… When you think that a very high-functioning wheelchair can cost $35,000, $40,000, maybe even $50,000 and will last five or six years, you can see how inadequate the previous rate was.”

Victoria says ICBC, which is still struggling with its multi-million debt, is shifting its focus to “care-focused insurance.”

“One that makes taking care of people injured in a crash the top priority, with more money for the treatments and support they need to get better, and firm control on legal and autobody repair costs,” Eby explains.

The province adds other changes to accident benefits will come into effect in April 2019 — including an increase in weekly wage loss payments for people unable to work.

These additional improvements will include increases to the funeral cost and death benefits.