What You Can Expect Under ICBC

white man with grey hair on his back in a gym using elastic bands around his knees for rehab next to female kinesiologist

Human beings do an excellent job of keeping themselves out of danger. Unfortunately, though, accidents happen in life. In B.C., residents know that they have the car collision protection granted under ICBC for when an accident does occur. Many, however, don’t know that as of April 1, 2019, an updated set of procedures and rules was put into effect.

Just like before, you’ll be covered in case of a car accident. It may help, though, to refamiliarize yourself with a few of the changes. Of all the changes, however, one that affects people seeking rehab after a car accident the most is this: ICBC now recognizes kinesiology and active rehab as an integral part of recovery from a car accident. This update allows those recovering to start exercise-based rehabilitation (active rehab) sooner.

Everyone will be pre-approved for 12 active rehab sessions within 3 months of their car accident. You don’t need to get a referral from your doctor to get started on the with active rehab. Starting sooner with your kinesiologist means that they can focus on walking you through the right treatment. Your kinesiologist can quickly provide you with the active rehab solutions that will aid you on your road to recovery.

So, how are injuries now processed, how has that process has been streamlined and how can your kinesiologist help if you’re injured?

WILL ICBC AFFECT HOW YOU DEAL WITH YOUR DOCTOR?

Broad consultation with doctors and other treatment providers have helped further define B.C.’s definition of minor injury. This updated definition ensures that the support for those injured in a crash is more consistent and backed by medical consensus.

B.C’s minor injury definition now include:

  • Sprains

  • Strains

  • General aches and pains

  • Cuts

  • Bruises

  • Road rash

  • Minor whiplash

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder—pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement

  • Mild concussions

  • Short-term mental health conditions

These guidelines mean that the pain in your neck or the soreness in your back is no longer in the legal grey area of health issues and that there will be a lot more clarity around what treatments you can, and should receive. It also makes it easier for you to see a kinesiologist for the active rehab you need.

Kinesiologists assist in rehabilitation by developing body awareness, muscle strength, joint range of motion/flexibility, balance and relaxation of muscles

Once you file your ICBC claim, you’re now allowed 12 pre-approved active rehabilitation sessions three months after your motor vehicle accident. Again, these sessions don’t require a doctor’s note, so you now have the freedom to go straight to your kinesiologist and begin the active rehab program necessary to address your injuries.

In this new dynamic, your doctor plays a supportive role in educating you about treatments and options. They may also provide you with expert recommendations.

If further treatment is required after those first 12 sessions, however, you’ll then need to meet with your doctor to receive a recommendation for an extension of your treatment. In any situation, a doctor’s advice and insight are critical to your return to good health.

HOW CAN ACTIVE REHAB HELP YOU GET BETTER?

You’ve filed your claim, and now you’re ready to talk to a kinesiologist. You may, however, still be unsure about what active rehab looks like or how it can to give you back the life you had before your accident.

Luckily, that is precisely the goal of treatment for any active rehab program worth its name: to assist in improving your function in daily life, your return to work, and your return to recreational activities like sports and independent exercise. Kinesiologists do this by developing body awareness, muscle strength, joint range of motion/flexibility, balance and relaxation of muscles.

Your program will begin with an initial assessment to address your limitations and pain. What actions can you no longer perform? What are the changes in your body’s functions? Are there any pain issues that need to be addressed? All this goes into creating your active rehab plan.

One part of that plan may be the use of aquatic therapy.

If your injuries have left you physically limited and you’re struggling with pain, aquatic therapy (also known as pool therapy) may be a good option. It’s one we provide here at Symmetrix. It offers a great starting point to get you moving because of the near-weightless environment in the pool and the mild resistance of water which supports beginner level rehabilitative exercise.

As the program progresses, you can be transitioned out of the water and to a gym for a land-based program. The new terms of ICBC cover all of this.

Aquatic therapy can be incorporated into your 12 sessions and will work in tandem with any message, chiropractic or physiotherapy treatments you may also be receiving. The goal is your recovery and the updates at ICBC allow you to begin that process much sooner.

HOW STREAMLINED IS THE ICBC PROCESS NOW?

One of our kinesiologists and personal trainers, Dasha MacWilliam, working with a client

One of our kinesiologists and personal trainers, Dasha MacWilliam, working with a client

ICBC offer options to work around your progress. If, for instance, your injury impacts your life for more than 12 months it will no longer be subject to the limit on pain and suffering. The definition of what “impacts” your life may include: not being able to go to work or school, having to modify your work hours or duties, or being unable to care for yourself.

In the case of concussions or mental health conditions, the time period is shorter. There will be no limit on pain and suffering if the impacts of your accident remain after four months.

Along with standardized definitions, ICBC has also developed guidelines for examination, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of minor injuries. This means less back and forth with your doctor. There is now a recognized reference which can be used to get you moving toward recovery.

YOUR KINESIOLOGIST CAN HELP YOU RECOVER

We’re only human. Accidents do happen. The updates to ICBC means that you can now talk to a kinesiologist and get started on your treatment sooner. Once you retrieve your claim number, your kinesiologist can assess your condition and create an active rehab program personalized to you.

If you're beginning your path toward recovery from a car accident and need the assistance of a kinesiologist, reach out to us here at Symmetrix. We’ll create and implement an active rehab program aimed at improving your function in daily life, returning to work, and getting you back to your recreational activities.