Beware ICBC classic

Diligently pursuing and following care recommendations will thwart ICBC “victim blaming” you for not doing enough to get better.

But beware the magic-pill defence.

It’s an ICBC classic.

They wait until the end of the process and identify some yet untried care idea they say will miraculously cure you. With no time to try it, your compensation is slashed based on an optimistic prognosis that is unlikely to transpire.

Thwart this tactic by learning about and proactively pursuing standard magic-pill cures. With the added benefit of optimizing your recovery.

The most classic of magic pills is “active rehabilitation.” Most typically, this involves engaging in stretching, strengthening and cardio exercises under the supervision of a kinesiologist.

Sessions with a kinesiologist typically start out weekly, becoming less frequent as you require less supervision. It is critical to do your part, diligently performing the prescribed exercises between sessions.

It is likely to take months to achieve optimal results. Don’t allow some arbitrary number of kinesiology sessions “allowed” by ICBC to hold you back.

One top medical specialist I consult with recommends a minimum of 24 sessions.

Have your therapies been interrupted by COVID-19? 

Consult with your doctor about using the time at home to pursue this aspect of your care. While not optimal, home exercise programs can be supervised by Skype. And your doctor might recommend other exercise that doesn’t require supervision.

Another classic magic pill is mental-health care.

Mental health can have a significant impact on recovery. It’s a vicious cycle. Chronic symptoms are bound to impact your mood. In turn, reduced mood compromises your ability to recover.

Psychological care can help prevent, or stop, that cycle. Sometimes medication is necessary.

The longer you allow a lowered mood to continue, the more likely it will progress to depression and be more difficult to treat.

Help your recovery and avoid handing ICBC a mental-health care magic pill by being vigilant about your mental health and following through with whatever care is prescribed.

This can be tricky!  We might be the least able to identify our own mental-health issues. And reluctant to ask for help given prevailing mental-health stigma.

Enlist those close to you to help identify if your mental health becomes compromised. And ask for help. 

This is another aspect of your care that should not be held back by COVID-19. Psychological care can be provided by video conferencing and ICBC has approved funding for that delivery method.

Let me know if you have difficulty finding a care provider.

There are three more magic-pill care items that I will briefly mention.

One is care to improve sleep. Compromised sleep can compromise your recovery. If you are not enjoying a full and fitful sleep, please consult with your doctor. Care can range from education about good sleep hygiene to medication and could require a formal assessment at a sleep clinic.

Another common one is weight loss. Crash injuries often lead to inactivity and weight gain. And there can be pre-crash weight challenges. Added weight can compromise recovery and aggravate symptoms.

And finally, an assessment by a pain specialist to explore whatever additional tools might be in their tool box to treat/manage chronic symptoms. After all other care ideas have been followed through with, ask your doctor whether or not a referral is indicated.

I wish you as full and complete a recovery as can be achieved. You will increase the chance of achieving that goal by following the pointers I have given in this three-column series.

 And by doing so, you will avoid ICBC arguments that you didn’t do enough to get better, or that there’s some other “magic pill” in the wings that could cure you.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

Paul Hergott began practicing law in 1995, in a general litigation practice. Of the various areas of litigation, he became most drawn to, and passionate about, pursuing fair compensation for injured victims. This gradually became his exclusive area of practice.

In 2007, Paul opened Hergott Law, a boutique personal injury law firm in the Central Interior, serving personal injury clients from all over British Columbia. Paul’s practice is restricted to acting only for the injured victim, never for ICBC or for other insurance companies.

Paul became a weekly newspaper columnist in January of 2007, when his first column entitled “It’s not about screwing the Insurance Company” was published. 

Please feel free to email or call Paul (1.855.437.4688) with legal issues you might like him to write about in his column, or to offer your feedback about something he has written.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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