When Can I Make a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident in B.C.?

You can make a personal injury claim after a car accident in British Columbia if the other driver is responsible for the accident, and he/she is convicted of a criminal offence in relation to your accident. You have two years to make a claim, although there are some exceptions.

Personal injury claims after car accidents

In lots of jurisdictions, the law states that if you’re injured through no fault of your own, you’re entitled to make a personal injury claim. A claim is made against the person or organisation to blame, and the injured person is awarded compensation for their damages.

In the past, this is exactly how it worked for people who were injured in car accidents in British Columbia. The injured person (or their family) usually instructed a specialist personal injury lawyer. A claim would then be brought against the driver at-fault, although it would be handled by their insurer – which in B.C. is the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). A successful claim would see the injured person/their family receive compensation. This would be paid out by ICBC.

Accidents from 1 May 2021

However, on 1 May 2021, ICBC switched to a no-fault insurance model. Now, individuals injured in car accidents in British Columbia can no longer bring a personal injury claim for damages. The only exception is where the driver is convicted of certain Criminal Code offences, such as driving while intoxicated.

This means that if your car accident happened after 1 May 2021, you can only bring a personal injury claim if:

  • You were injured in a car accident; and
  • The other driver is at fault; and
  • The other driver is convicted of a Criminal Code offence in relation to your accident

Those who started a car accident claim before 1 May 2021 will be subject to the old rules. This means you are still entitled to compensation.

Time limits for personal injury claims

You have two years to make a personal injury claim, including an ICBC car accident claim. This does not apply to people who are legally disabled. Also, injured people under the age of 19 have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim.

The time limit is important to note. If you miss the deadline, you cannot bring a personal injury claim in B.C.

Find out more: Time Limits for Personal Injury Claims

Can you make a personal injury claim?

If you have been injured in a car accident, or your loved one has, we can help. We can say whether you are entitled to bring a personal injury claim. Thanks to the introduction of ICBC’s no fault model, this is not quite as clear-cut as it used to be. Our experienced lawyers can explain the options available to you.

To speak to our Vancouver personal injury lawyers, either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.

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