Following a car accident, insurance claims can cover a range of things, including damage to the vehicle, medical costs and lost wages. For the latter benefits, claimants must remain honest about their working situation or risk having to pay back some of the money issued by the insurer. This matter recently went before in a civil tribunal, where a British Columbia man was ordered to pay back $9,595 to ICBC after being accused of providing misleading information about his work status to the insurer.
What was the case?
The incident began when the man responded to an email answering questions about his work status on May 29. He said that he had not worked; however, ICBC had hired a private investigator who followed the man and photographed him driving a vehicle from his moving company on May 1. The surveillance also showed him loading and unloading boxes, garbage bags and other items.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal decision
In the subsequent Civil Resolution Tribunal, the man argued that he hadn’t lied in the email. He said he believed the “work” they were referring to was the more physical aspects of his job, since this is what was all covered by the doctor’s note preventing him from working. However, given the footage of him doing physical work, the tribunal found that the claims were falsified.
As a result of the ruling, the man will have to pay back the nearly ten thousand dollars in insurance benefits he received. The tribunal noted that the amount of pain he was in while working was irrelevant, as the question was regarding whether he worked, not whether he should work or could work as well as before. Involving a personal injury lawyer when dealing with insurance companies on claims can be a good idea for British Columbia claimants for many reasons, including avoiding an outcome where benefits are revoked such as this.