Low Velocity Impacts

By Stuart Cappus

If you were involved in a relatively minor car accident, ICBC may deny your claim for damages on the basis that it was a low velocity impact, or LVI. These types of collisions often occur at slower speeds and generally result in less damage to your vehicle. When these types of accidents happen, ICBC often takes the position that because the collision was so minor, it could not possibly have caused you any injuries to support a claim for damages. As ICBC puts it,

“the information currently available to ICBC, including the minimal nature of the impact forces involved in the collision, as well as your physical condition at the time of the accident, has led us to believe that the accident did not result in any compensable injury.”

This has become known as “no crash, no cash” and it is the basis for ICBC’s LVI Program. This policy is not based on any scientific evidence, but is purely a business scheme designed to reduce the amount of money ICBC pays out for bodily injury claims. The more claims it denies and the less money it pays out, the more ICBC profits.

However, just as some people can walk away unscathed from horrific car crashes, others can sustain very real injuries from these so-called low velocity impacts. There is no correlation between the seriousness of a collision and the seriousness of the harm a person suffers. The most common injuries associated with these types of accidents are whiplash and soft-tissue injuries, which can severely impact a person’s daily functioning and quality of life.

Fortunately, ICBC’s policy to deny these types of claims is not the law. Courts in BC have repeatedly found that significant injuries can result from the most minor of car accidents such that the person is owed money from ICBC. Therefore, regardless of the nature of the collision, if you are injured in a car accident, you are entitled to appropriate compensation.