Future Care Awards
In more serious ICBC injury claims, where there is permanence to the injuries, you may have an entitlement to an award for future care. In order to receive an award you require a medical opinion that concludes that the expenses in the future are reasonable and medically necessary.
Therefore, you require a doctor’s opinion that sets out the level of needed care. You also need an occupational therapist, who is an expert in assessing future care, to provide an analysis of the cost of the future care.
The type of items that can be awarded under future care is virtually unlimited. The list includes such things as gardeners, homemakers, care aids, counselors, babysitters, therapists, etc. So long as the expense is reasonable and medically necessary, you can claim it.
The award that ICBC is required to pay for future care is the net present value of the stream of future expenses. Usually, an economist has to be retained to figure out what the value of the future stream of expenses will be if you get a lump-sum payment at the time of the settlement or trial.
ICBC will often argue that the amount of future care should be reduced by what is available under Part VII of the Regulations of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. The reason being, the Insurance (Vehicle) Act allows ICBC to deduct past and future Part VII benefits from the tort claim award.
The practice of deducting Part VII benefits from the future care award should be avoided because you don’t want to be thrown into the situation of having to deal with ICBC for care needs indefinitely. There is a real advantage to both ICBC and yourself in terminating the entire relationship when the case is settled or judgment is rendered.
Usually, ICBC will negotiate a release of the Part VII claim in exchange for no deduction on the tort claim award because there is value to them in closing the file.