Limitation Periods

A limitation period is a deadline before which you must start a lawsuit/notify ICBC

A limitation period is a deadline before which you must start a lawsuit/notify ICBC.  If you do not meet the limitation period, you may lose your right to receive compensation. Therefore, it is very important to keep these limitation periods in mind when pursuing your ICBC claim.

Some of the important ICBC claim related limitation periods are:

  1. For injury claims, you have two years from the date of the injury to start a lawsuit against the at-fault party or settle with ICBC;
  2. For Family Compensation Act proceedings (i.e. death claims) you have two years from the date of the death of the family member to start a lawsuit against the at-fault party or settle with ICBC;
  3. Where you are making a claim for a hit-and-run accident, you must give ICBC notice no later than six months after the accident but also when reasonably possible (i.e. don’t delay giving ICBC notice);
  4. Where a municipality may be liable, in whole or in part, for the accident you must deliver to that municipality written notice of the claim setting out the time, place and way the damage has been sustained. The notice must be received within 2 months of the accident;
  5. If you want to bring an action against ICBC under your insurance policy (e.g. breach of the contract of insurance cases), you must start the lawsuit within two year of the denial;
  6. For Part VII/No-Fault accident benefits, you have 30 days to notify ICBC of the accident and 90 days to file a proof of claim (i.e. a CL-22 Accident Benefit Claim form); and
  7. For Part VII/ No-Fault accident benefits, you have two years to commence a lawsuit after the accident or the last payment under Part VII by ICBC, whichever is later, unless you serve a Section 103 notice onto ICBC in which case the above limitation periods are extended another two years.

If the person that is making the claim is under the age of majority (i.e. under 19) or is legally disabled than the limitation period does not apply (except in Part VII actions) unless ICBC sends a Notice to Proceed which will then initiate the running of the limitation period.  This is a formal document ICBC can send by registered mail to the infant/ disabled person to ensure the claim moves forward to litigation.

Note that ICBC has no obligation to notify you of the limitation period. They are very happy if you miss a limitation period and will take advantage of your error. Indeed, these limitation dates are not flexible.

There are rare instances where you will be able to get around a missed limitation period. For example, if ICBC confirms the cause of action by making a tort payment or making a written offer, the limitation period for suing for injuries may be extended. In most cases, however, if you miss the limitation period deadline your injury claim ends.

In summary, don’t put off notifying ICBC initially after the accident of the pending claim. Do not leave your injury claim dangling near the two-year mark after the accident without settling directly with ICBC or hiring a lawyer to start a lawsuit to preserve your claim.