As reported by the Vancouver Sun, ICBC’s top brass have handed out directives to all adjusters to withdraw settlement offers on existing claims and re-assess claims not by the law but by an internal meat chart.
Details of this secret memo are slowly coming to light and it appears ICBC has created 5 different categories for non-pecuniary damage assessment. The first three deal with soft tissue injuries, the fourth with more serious injuries and the last with what ICBC deems to be catastrophic injuries.
I have not yet had the privilege of seeing ICBC’s full memo to their adjusters (who have been instructed to keep the details secret) but sources tell me that ICBC will be valuing pain and suffering by completely artificial criteria which run contrary to well established law. If and when full details of ICBC’s new policy are shared with me I will gladly publish them.
In the meantime, if you are being told that your claim is worth an artificially small amount based on ICBC’s internal assessment please know your rights. It is well established that non-pecuniary damages are assessed individually on a case by case basis using the following non-exhaustive list of factors. If ICBC is not prepared to use these you can be confident BC courts will –
a) age of the plaintiff;
b) nature of the injury;
c) severity and duration of pain;
e) emotional suffering; and
f) loss or impairment of life;
g) impairment of family, marital and social relationships;
h) impairment of physical and mental abilities;
i) loss of lifestyle; and
j) the plaintiff’s stoicism (as a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff: Giang v. Clayton,  B.C.J. No. 163, 2005 BCCA 54).