ICBC treats “worker-worker” accidents differently

Many of us spend a large part of our work day on the road; driving between work sites, visiting clients, or simply commuting to and from home.

We rely on our auto insurance to protect us from mishaps, particularly in the event of an accident. In the majority of cases, we can rest assured that our auto insurance is there when we need it. However, there are specific instances where your insurance may not protect you.

One example is the “worker-worker” accident. In accidents where the victim and the at-fault party are both “workers” engaged in “work-related activities” at the time of the incident , the Workers Compensation Act prohibits an injured party from suing the other motorist..   Not being able to bring a civil lawsuit often means that you will not be compensated for pain-and-suffering, and will be limited to recovering your wage loss and treatment expenses through Worksafe BC.  This prohibition is often relied upon by ICBC to deny coverage.

Figuring out whether your accident falls into the “worker-worker” category can be difficult, and the outcomes may be surprising. For example, an office worker who left her office early to work from home was deemed to have been injured within the “course of employment”, simply because she stated that she intended to work from home. A bicycle courier on his way to work carrying an undelivered package from the previous day was deemed to be engaged in “work-related” activities at the time of the accident.

If you have any doubt as to whether you may be deemed a “worker” at the time of an accident, it is wise to seek legal advice before dealing with ICBC.  For more information, call us at 604.273.6411 to speak with Derek Young.