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Artificial Enhancement: ICBC enhanced care model forces injured driver back to work

Victoria, British Columbia — What’s a five-word sentence that doesn’t rhyme with ICBC? I am in dire need.

A tragic statement that would fit the bill for a lot of people forced to deal with British Columbia’s public insurer.

Rob Behan and Charmaine McKean are two people that that statement could now also apply to.

Behan and McKean were recently in an accident involving a pickup truck barrelling towards them in the wrong lane on the Trans-Canada highway.

“Everything slows down, and the only thing going through your head is ‘I can’t avoid this,'” said Behan in an interview with the CBC.

“Another six or eight inches to the right, and nobody would have walked away from that,” said Behan.

The Enderby, B.C. couple consider themselves lucky to have come away with concussions, cracked ribs and their dog completely unscathed, but feel as though ICBC has left them in the lurch since the traumatic event.

Behan and McKean’s claim has fallen into ICBC’s new “enhanced care program”, which the corporation implemented to cut down on legal costs and, in theory, pass the savings on to drivers.

However, due to the fact that Behan and McKean are unable to pursue legal action independently, due to ICBC’s new mandate, the pair are at the mercy of whatever timeline for action the insurer decides.

Both Behan and McKean were recommended by their doctors to take time off of work following their July 3 accident, however, they were provided no supports by ICBC while their claim was being processed, with the insurer going as far as to ask them to rely on employment benefits or medical employment insurance for lost compensation in the meantime.

Left with no paid sick days to take advantage of, Behan was forced to return to work mere days following the accident.

Behan says that when it comes to his injuries and expenses, he wants ICBC out of the picture.

“I’m just going to have to live with the aches and pain I have at the moment, and hope they go away,” said Behan.

“I basically cut ICBC out of it, I’m just doing it on my own because I have to pay my bills.”

McKean has yet to make her way back to work following the accident and is currently in the process of pursuing ICBC for her lost wages.

“I struggle almost daily,” said McKean.

“There’s new aches and pain every day, especially in my back and rib cage, and my concussion piece is going to be a bit more ongoing.”

In a statement, ICBC confirmed McKean’s request for wage loss benefits has been processed.

In response to the CBCs request for comment from ICBC, a spokesperson wrote “[They] will get all the care they need, when they need it, for as long as they need it.”

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