THE "LOW VELOCITY IMPACT" LETTER
After an accident, crash victims will report the accident to Dial-a-Clam at ICBC. They will be asked to either take their car into a claim centre to have it looked at or to take it to the authorized repair facility of their choice. For those who have been injured in the crash, visits to the doctor, chiropractor, physio-therapist, and massage therapist can start. THEN THE LETTER COMES!
“the information currently available to ICBC, including the minimal nature of the impact forces involved in the collision, as well as your physical condition at the time of the accident, has led us to believe that the accident did not result in any compensable injury”
An anonymous ICBC adjuster has just told you that you are not injured. In fact they have said that you could not be injured. How could they know that when you and your treating medical practitioners know that something is wrong?
A number of years ago there was an internal policy decision made at ICBC to deny compensation when there was very modest vehicle damage (the actual amount of damage and how that is measured has varied over time).
It was expected, and it has proven to be true, that a substantial number of people will not make claims if they are told that they are not going to be accepted. It is also ICBC’s policy to defend such claims vigorously so the cost of pursuing them can be just too high. However, each claim is as individual as the person.
The example that I like to use is the “hot shower”. We take a hot shower every day and it doesn’t bother us. But take that same hot shower with a sunburn and it is a different story.
For people who have underlying medical conditions (significant arthritis for example) or who have ongoing old injuries from work or previous accidents, a relatively modest impact can result in significant injury or aggravation of the pre-existing problems.
The courts have said clearly that “no crash – no cash” policies are not law but only insurance company policy. Only you and your medical practitioners can know if you were injured.