A new decision was released this week by the British Columbia Supreme Court which deals with the circumstances in which an injured party is entitled to total temporary disability ("TTD") benefits from ICBC following an accident. The decision can be found here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/16/14/2016BCSC1432.htm
An article about the decision was published in today's Province newspaper. In brief, the plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident, when the vehicle she was driving was rear-ended. She initially commenced an action against the owner and driver of the vehicle which rear-ended her.
At the time of the accident, the plaintiff was healthy and working full time. Unfortunately, her employment provided no extended medical coverage, short term or long term disability. After a month off following the accident, the plaintiff returned to work part-time and continued to work part-time for a number of months, before determining that she was unable to work.
When she subsequently applied for TTD benefits, ICBC refused her application because TTD benefits were not being paid to her by ICBC at the 104 week mark following the date of the accident. Stated another way, ICBC argued that to be entitled to Part 7 TTD benefits, an injured person must obtain benefit coverage prior to the two year anniversary of the accident. The plaintiff, on the other hand, argued that she was entitled to TTD benefits if she could prove that her injuries were "continuing at the end" of the two year period.
Ultimately, the court favoured the arguments put forward by the plaintiff and awarded her TTD coverage. Although the facts of this case may be somewhat unusual, it is an important decision for people who initially return to work following an accident only to determine that they are unable to carry-on with the position as time goes by.
If you have any questions about your entitlement to TTD or any other Part 7 benefits, please contact us.