Mockscenario of how to use jaws of life in serious crash (Black Press Media files)

ICBC doubles compensation for crash victims with serious injuries

People injured in a traffic crash on or after Jan. 1, 2018 now eligible for up to $300,000 from ICBC

Those seriously hurt in a vehicle collision in B.C. are now eligible for double the injury compensation from ICBC.

In a news release Friday, the province announced that the new compensation cap for medical care and recovery is $300,000 from ICBC, up from the previous maximum of $150,000 set in 1991.

Anyone injured in a crash on or after Jan. 1 of this year are eligible.

The province estimates the increase will help 35 British Columbians each year while saving the corporation about $1 billion a year.

The increase was welcomed by Jane Dyson, Disability Alliance BC executive director, a group that’s been calling for increase for 12 years.

“The doubling of the overall allowance for medical care and recovery is a significant improvement, and we welcome these long overdue changes, which will mean that people who are catastrophically injured in motor vehicle accidents have better supports available to help them rebuild their lives,” she said.

READ MORE: Advocates, lawyers say ICBC minor injury caps could hit victims at their weakest

READ MORE: ICBC in ‘financial dumpster fire’, minister says

The province said additional changes are planned for April 1 next year, including wage loss payments for customers injured and unable to work increasing to $740 per week from $300, funeral cost benefits increasing from $2,500 to $7,500 and death benefits – including payments to surviving family members – increasing to $30,000 from $18,000.

In February, ICBC announced it would be placing a $5,500 limit on payouts for pain and suffering. To stem the losses from rising accident rates and an 80 per cent increase in injury claim costs in the past seven years, ICBC also announced that a claim resolution tribunal would be launched to settle disputed claims without going to court.

Meanwhile, the B.C. NDP Government continues to develop the legal definition of a minor injury. Eby said in February it is expected to include strains, sprains, mild whiplash, aches and pains, cuts and bruises, with cases to be determined by medical professionals independent of ICBC.

Just Posted

Youth create for those less fortunate

Art auction fundraiser takes place tonight, 6-10 p.m. at the Castle on 1st.

Summer fun has just begun

Ice cream sales are expected to peak today as residents savour the longest day of the year.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Fernie

A new cannabis clinic is open in Fernie, with plans to transition to a dispensary, come legalization

Columbia River Treaty meetings hear farmers’ plea

Ranchers say this is Canada’s last chance to restore their agricultural industry

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Revenue Canada scam swindles $3,000 from B.C. resident

Victim provides fraudster with $3,000 in iTunes gift cards

Housing would cut number of B.C.’s vulnerable re-admitted to hospital: study

New SFU work shows just how costly frequent hospitalization is to the province’s health care system

Disney production filming at Government House on Vancouver Island

Made-for-TV movie will feature the inside of the Victoria mansion

Most Read