ICBC's Secret "Meat Chart" for Pain and Suffering and the Actual Law
As reported last week by the Vancouver Sun, ICBC’s top brass have handed out directives to adjusters to withdraw settlement offers on existing claims and re-assess claims not by the law but by internal criteria the media have dubbed the ‘meat chart’.
Details of these instructions are slowly coming to light and it appears ICBC has created 5 different categories for non-pecuniary damage assessment. The first three deal with soft tissue injuries, the fourth with more serious injuries and the last with what ICBC deems to be catastrophic injuries.
I have not yet had the privilege of seeing ICBC’s full memo to their adjusters but sources tell me that ICBC will be valuing pain and suffering by completely artificial criteria which run contrary to well established law. If and when full details of ICBC’s new policy are shared with me I will gladly publish them.
In the meantime, if you are being told that your claim is worth an artificially small amount based on ICBC’s internal assessment please know your rights. It is well established that non-pecuniary damages are assessed individually on a case by case basis using the following non-exhaustive list of factors. If ICBC is not prepared to use these you can be confident BC courts will –
a) age of the plaintiff;
b) nature of the injury;
c) severity and duration of pain;
e) emotional suffering; and
f) loss or impairment of life;
g) impairment of family, marital and social relationships;
h) impairment of physical and mental abilities;
i) loss of lifestyle; and
j) the plaintiff’s stoicism (as a factor that should not, generally speaking, penalize the plaintiff: Giang v. Clayton,  B.C.J. No. 163, 2005 BCCA 54).