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New Ruling Could Help Others Receive ICBC Disability Benefits

A recent ruling from a B.C. Supreme Court judge could augment a precedent to help future personal-injury victims receive full disability benefits owed to them by ICBC, according to a story from The Province.

Lois Powell, a former White Rock resident who eventually had to move to Victoria to be closer to her adult children to receive living assistance for her medical suffering, can now put her several-year-long battle with ICBC behind her.

Ms. Powell was injured in a car accident in 2010 and initially attempted to return to her office job, only to quit a few years later because of constant neck and back pain that wouldn’t go away.

When she then attempted to apply for ICBC’s “total disability” payments program, ICBC rejected her on the grounds that she wasn’t receiving any insurance benefits for her injuries on the two-year anniversary of the car accident.

But Justice Janice Dillon argued that ICBC was interpreting the Insurance Vehicle Act too narrowly. Just because a victim is working and not totally disabled at the two-year mark of their accident (which the law identifies as the general criterion for not receiving future total-disability benefits) does not necessarily mean that long-term ramifications of an injury beyond the two-year mark are insincere nor unworthy of compensation.

The ruling reinforces a similar opinion from the B.C. Supreme Court earlier in the year that upheld a 2014 lower-court decision also protecting a victim’s right to receive long-term injury benefits from ICBC.

This swath of recent rulings indicates that ICBC needs to stop punishing victims for trying to get back to work after a car accident only to realize over time that their long-term injuries are too much for them to handle.

If you have been involved in a car accident, are struggling to cope with lingering injuries and don’t know what to do, contact BLW Lawyers in Metro Vancouver today. We have offices across the Lower Mainland and personal-injury lawyers with years of experience to ensure that you are entitled to the long-term disability benefits that you deserve. Call or email us at info@BLWlawyers.com for more information.

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