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ICBC’s Low-Velocity Impact Policy – What It Is and How to Defeat It

Here you will find basic information on ICBC‘s Low-Velocity Impact (LVI) policy; it is not meant to be a substitute for legal advice. Seek legal advice if ICBC deems your accident claim an LVI.

ICBC’s Policy

ICBC has a policy called the Low Velocity Impact (LVI) Program. This policy is based on the belief that if a car accident occurs at a low speed and results in less than $1,000 in damage, it is not serious enough to result in an injury.

There are four criteria that ICBC uses when determining LVI claims:

  • Was the transfer of forces to the occupant 8km/hr or less?
  • Are there any pre-existing health problems, injuries or conditions that make it more likely that a person could have been injured?
  • Is there an objective injury that warrants compensation?
  • Are there any extraordinary circumstances which should be brought to the committee’s attention?

ICBC’s LVI Policy Not Supported by Law

LVI is an arbitrary policy not supported by law.

This policy is used to improperly restrict your rights by convincing you that you are not entitled to compensation for your injuries.

There is no scientific relationship between the amount of damage sustained to a vehicle and the amount of damage sustained to a human body. People are often injured by low speed accidents. Imagine a jogger running straight into a concrete wall at 5 to 10 km/hour.

Only a doctor can say whether or not you are injured.

What ICBC Will Do

ICBC will attempt to get a statement from you outlining details of medical conditions or issues that may have been aggravated, as well as details of your lifestyle, career and general health.

This statement will, in all likelihood, support their contention that you were not injured in the accident.

For all of the reasons outlined in this Info Sheet, we do not recommend that you go to a meeting with ICBC or make any statement to them until you have spoken with us. As some of the best personal injury lawyers in Victoria, we can then advocate on your behalf.

If Your Accident is Deemed to be LVI

If your accident claim is deemed to be a Low-Velocity Impact claim, ICBC will help you fix your vehicle, but your claim for ICBC benefits for medical care and income loss may be denied.

If You are the Innocent Victim

If you are the innocent victim in the accident, ICBC will try to say you are not entitled to a Personal Injury Claim for compensation. If ICBC thinks you will go to Court, it will likely back down from its LVI defense.

As stated by Justice Macaulay, “The Courts have long debunked as myth the suggestion that low impact can be directly correlated with lack of compensable injury. In Gordon v. Palmer, [1993] B.C.J. No. 474 (S.C.), Thackray J., as he then was, made the following comments that are still apposite today:

‘I do not subscribe to the view that if there is no motor vehicle damage then there is no injury. This is a philosophy that the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may follow, but it has no application in court. It is not a legal principle of which I am aware and I have never heard it endorsed as a medical principle.’”1

1. Lubick v. Mei, 2008 BCSC 555 at para. 5

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