18 Mar Don’t Leave Your Medical Care To ICBC

When our client’s vehicle was t-boned by someone running a stop sign, he suffered a concussion, whiplash and shoulder injury.  He decided to deal with ICBC directly and did not retain a lawyer until over a year had passed.

As a highly talented finishing carpenter, his injuries made it difficult for him to work for prolonged periods of time without assistance.  In order to get back to work, he was more than willing to participate in a rehabilitation program.  Both his family doctor and the specialist involved in his care supported his participation in a structured exercise program which would not take him beyond the point of pain.  Unfortunately, that is not the kind of program which ICBC put him in.

At ICBC’s insistence, Mr. Adamson was referred to a rehabilitation centre for a work hardening program.  A work hardening program includes work simulation tasks and it lasts 2-4 hours a day.  It leads to a graduated return to work for the patient.  Normally the completion of a less demanding rehabilitation program is a prerequisite to the work hardening program. 

Mr. Adamson did not do well in the work hardening program and suffered a setback.  It wasn’t until trial that the physiotherapist was made aware that ICBC had no medical referral to a work hardening program and that Mr. Adamson’s specialist had recommended a light rehabilitation program, not a work hardening program. 

With respect to compensation for his injuries, the Judge relied on the medical evidence of Mr. Adamson’s doctors, who were of the opinion that he was permanently disabled.  The Judge awarded him $200,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $100,000 more than ICBC was offering.  Adamson v. Charity, 2007 BCSC 671.