Compensation for Low Velocity Impacts
It is ICBC’s policy that a low velocity impact that causes less than $1,000 damage cannot have resulted in an injury. However, this is by no means an accurate assessment and is one that can be contested in court.
Low velocity impact (LVI) program
ICBC’s LVI program stipulates that compensation should not be awarded if:
- The impact resulted in forces of 8km/hour or less; and
- The accident resulted in less than $1,000 of damage to vehicle
When such accidents take place, ICBC makes the default assumption that anyone inside the vehicle could not possibly have been injured.
What does the science say?
However, this assumption is not supported by medical, scientific or anecdotal evidence. Injuries such as whiplash can certainly be sustained during low-speed collisions. Anyone who has experienced whiplash will know that it is a painful, debilitating condition that takes a long time to resolve.
What can you do about a low velocity impact?
So, where does this leave you? Clearly, it is very unfair for ICBC to say that you do not deserve compensation, even though you have sustained a genuine injury through no fault of your own.
The current position is slightly complicated by the fact that ICBC has recently changed to a no-fault insurance model. In the past, you could contest ICBC’s decision by pursuing a personal injury claim. That way, the court – not ICBC – would decide whether you had suffered an injury because of another person’s negligence. This option is still open to those who were injured before May 1 2021, which is when ICBC implemented the no fault system. If you were involved in a low velocity impact before this date, please contact our Vancouver personal injury lawyers to discuss your options. You could be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Those involved in low velocity impacts after May 1 2021 can still contest ICBCs decision, but not by making a claim. Instead, you’ll have to take the matter to the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). You’re not allowed to make a personal injury claim, unless the person responsible for the accident is convicted of a criminal offence, such as impaired driving.
Speak to our Vancouver personal injury lawyers
We acted for a plaintiff who was rear ended in a collision. There was very minimal damage done to his truck, less than $1,000. He suffered whiplash-like injuries that left him unable to work in his physical job. Eventually he was diagnosed with a permanent partial disability. We resolved his claim for $172,000. This case just goes to show that injuries can happen in all sorts of way: including as a result of low velocity impacts. LVIs can be very damaging and should not be automatically discounted, just because they took place at a certain speed.
While ICBC’s no fault system is a bar to some people claiming compensation, it may still be an option for you. This is especially true if the accident happened before May 1 2021 or involved a criminal offence. That is why we always recommend that you contact our Vancouver personal injury lawyers for advice. If we can help you claim compensation for a low velocity impact, then we will. If not, we can explain what other avenues are open to you, ensuring you are not left out of pocket because of the incident.Go back to Blog