If you have recently been in a car accident resulting in an injury like whiplash, you may be wondering how much your claim is worth. Read on to find out what different components determine the value of your claim.
The soft tissue injury settlement guideline that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) sets a maximum ceiling for each type of damages. The actual amount mainly depends on how severe the injury is, and how long it lasts. However, it should be noted that if a case is not settled and taken to court, the British Columbia Courts are not restricted to the ICBC's guidelines. What this means is that the court can potentially make a judgment of a lower or higher amount than ICBC's policies allow. If you are taking a case to court, research and review past court judgments for similar cases to yours to get an idea for what amounts they may value your case.
If you are planning to make a settlement with ICBC instead of taking it to court, read on.
The guideline that ICBC uses is derived from a report by the Quebec Task Force (QTF) in 1995, which grades different kinds of Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD). The report specifies the grades as follows:
- Grade 0 WAD: No complaint about the neck and no physical sign of injury
- Grade 1 WAD: Neck complaint of pain, stiffness or tenderness only and no physical sign of injury
- Grade 2 WAD: Neck complaint and musculoskeletal sign(s) of injury
Next you can use the above information to see which ICBC category it falls into:
- Mild Injury: WAD 1 and minor WAD 2 injuries. Claimant recovers within 6 months. Maximum of 2 months of disability.
- Mild/Moderate Injury: Moderate WAD 2 injuries. Claimant recovers within 12 months.Maximum of 4 months of disability.
- Moderate Injury: Moderate to severe WAD 2 injuries. Claimant recovers within 24 months. Maximum of 12 months of disability.
Once you have determined if your whiplash injury is mild, mild/moderate, or moderate, you can see what the general value of your claim may be:
- Mild Injury: $0 - $6,500
- Mild/Moderate Injuries: A maximum of $10,000
- Moderate Injuries: A maximum of $15,000
Remember, not every claim is the same. There may be exceptions and special considerations for your particular case. Consult with a lawyer with experience in ICBC claims (such as one from Yearwood & Company) to get a more accurate estimate of the value of your claim.