When an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident while working, it is common place for the individual to believe that the Insurance Corporation of British Columba (ICBC) will accept their claim just as they do any other. However, things can quickly become messy if ICBC deems you a worker.
Even more so, if it deems the defendant driver a worker as well. If both you and the other driver are deemed to be workers, ICBC may limit and direct the claim to the Workers’ Compensation Board. If you too are deemed a “worker,” you cannot sue another worker under the Workers Compensation Act and you will have no claim for general damages for pain and suffering the way most people do after a car accident.
If both you and the other driver are deemed to be workers, ICBC may limit and direct the claim to the Workers’ Compensation Board.
There are many factors that are taken into consideration to determine whether an individual is a worker or a non-worker. For example, was the person on an unpaid break at the time of the accident? Were they returning home from work? Did they have a uniform on at the time of the accident?
Deciding whether to pursue a claim through ICBC or WCB is ultimately a personal and legal choice and we will advise you on that choice. However it is important to not prejudice your ICBC claim too early. It is best to speak to a lawyer before speaking with ICBC so that we can ensure the correct facts are told to ICBC and you are not deemed a worker, when you were not in fact a worker.
There are also strict timelines to adhere to. If you decide to pursue a claim through ICBC, it is important that notice is given to WCB so that your claim is protected in the event that you initially decide to pursue a claim through ICBC, but after the fact ICBC concludes that all parties involved in the motor vehicle accident were in fact workers.
This is a very complex area and that is the reason why it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.