Work-Related Vehicle Accidents
Many complications arise in commercial vehicle accidents at work. The circumstances considered include:
Whether the collision involved another employee or employer;
Who was at fault;
If the collision occurred when the at-fault employee or employer was in the course of work; and
If fault can be proven.
Most people are unaware that a worker injured in a car crash during the course of their employment cannot sue an at-fault employee or employer who was also working at the time. This restriction, in s.10(1) of the Workers' Compensation Act, is known as the worker-on-worker bar. If payments are made under the Worker’s Compensation Act, they are administered and paid through WorkSafeBC.
If the at-fault driver was not a worker or employer or was such, but was not in the course of employment when the accident was caused, you may have the option to claim with ICBC for personal injuries. It is best to obtain independent legal advice about your options. You should contact us as soon as possible to determine if you have the option to elect to claim with ICBC.
It is important to note that WorkSafeBC does not compensate victims to the same extent as ICBC. WorkSafeBC also will not pay benefits if you were not a worker or the injuries did not arise out of the employment.
Whether or not you are entitled to money from other sources (possibly including ICBC) will depend on the circumstances. If WorkSafeBC provides you with an election form, you might have the option to seek payment from ICBC. It is best to speak to us, however, as WorkSafeBC does not assist with your legal rights.
If you have consulted with a lawyer and are planning to sue but would otherwise be eligible for benefits under WorkSafeBC, you will want your lawyer to submit an application for a provisional claim with a letter explaining that you are pursuing a lawsuit and not claiming benefits at this time but are filing the form only to meet the one-year time limitation. WorkSafeBC will assign a claim number to your case and suspend it while you pursue your lawsuit. No decisions will be made or benefits paid while your lawsuit is in progress.
A commercial vehicle accident case in BC may be quite complex. We recommend seeking immediate legal advice before deciding to either accept WorkSafe BC benefits or trying to deal with ICBC. Our lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP are highly knowledgeable and experienced in personal injury arising out of commercial vehicle accidents. We serve Vancouver, BC and have 10 offices in total throughout the Lower Mainland.