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If you are the passenger of a British Columbia licensed and insured vehicle, you have the right to make an ICBC claim for “no-fault” benefits, whether or not you are a resident of British Columbia.
You also have the right to make an ICBC injury claim against the at-fault motorist who struck you, even if you are not a resident of British Columbia. This can include a claim for pain and suffering, for out of pocket expenses, for loss of housekeeping capacity, for future loss of housekeeping capacity, for loss of income and past diminished earning capacity, for future diminished earning capacity, for cost of future care, and for an in-trust claim.
There can also exist certain situations where you would need to sue the driver of the vehicle you were in, in order to achieve full compensation for your injuries. This would occur in the event that the driver is partially to blame for the accident. Sometimes, this can even include another family member. Many people are reluctant to sue a family member, for fear that the family member would be responsible for paying the full amount of an injury claim out of their own pocket. However, it should be noted that this is normally not the case, as the family member’s insurance policy would pay for the ICBC injury claim. Depending on the family member’s driving history, premiums may or may not go up. There do exist rare circumstances, however, where the family member may be responsible for the payment of the value of the ICBC passenger injury claim. For example, if the family member is driving an uninsured vehicle.
Sometimes, passengers of vehicles that have been involved in a motor vehicle accident will want to protect the driver of the vehicle they are in from any liability exposure. As such, their statements to ICBC on how the accident happened may not be totally accurate. However, upon learning that in order to achieve maximum value for their ICBC passenger injury claim, they may also have to sue the driver of the vehicle they were in, they may wish to make an amended statement. Unfortunately, at this point, this will greatly affect their credibility, and will likely not help their case. When giving any statement to ICBC, it is important to be truthful right from the start.
Please contact us for a free consultation if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident as a passenger, and wish to make an ICBC injury claim.