About eight years ago, I was hit by a truck driver while commuting on my bike. ICBC refused to pay my wages during the first three months I was unable to work, which forced me to a) collect EI and b) ignore my doctors' advice and return to work before being fully recovered. Not only did ICBC use their teams of attack dogs to quite literally add insult to injury, they then used my Employment Insurance claim and early return to work against me in court.
That's right -- their offers of settlement throughout this process sat between $1,000 and $3,000. Period. No expenses, no costs, no disbursements. I had lost more than ten grand in wages alone, and spent another three or four on physiotherapy appointments in BC's lovely opt-out medical plan. If I had accepted the $3K, my own lawyer would have tagged me for an additional $2K. I had no choice but to go to court.
By law, either the plaintiff or defendant in any Supreme Court case -- which this had to be based on the amounts of money involved -- can elect a jury. ICBC's lawyers always request a jury for cycling cases because, statistically, a jury hates cyclists. While the truck driver admitted in court that he hadn't checked his blindspot before turning into me, the jury proved this point by deciding I was 2/3 at fault.
I have permanent shoulder damage, often wake up in pain, and haven't been able to play tennis, volleyball or, understandably I think, cycle -- for the last eight years. My credit was shot by the time off work, leaving my wife and me unable to even sniff at a house in this or any other market. And now, ICBC is suing ME for upwards of $40K. The truck driver didn't even have his rates affected, and if I even call the guy on the phone I'll be cited in contempt of court.
Forget Gordon Campbell's drunk driving conviction in Hawaii; soulless agencies like ICBC -- WCB, from anecdotal evidence, is at least as bad -- are a scourge on the face of BC.