A North Vancouver man who suffered life-altering injuries in a car crash last year is pleading with ICBC to reunite him with his family.
Before the collision, Paul Zilahi was self employed.
Now 64, Zilahi requires a wheelchair for mobility, and says he is being forced to live in a long-term care home because his family condo is not suitable for him.
“I’m separated from my family, I’m here in a long-term care home and ICBC refuses to relocate me,” he said.
“There’s a lot of hurt, there’s a lot of grieving,” he added of the separation from his family.
Zilahi was driving on Main Street in North Vancouver to pick his children up from school in October, 2021, when another motorist did a sudden U-turn and smashed into his vehicle.
“I’m a quadriplegic,” he said. “Basically my left hand can’t move, my left leg can’t move, so basically I’m in a wheelchair.”
An occupational therapist has determined Zilahi’s previous home no longer meets his needs, and he believes the insurance company doesn’t want to spend money moving him to an appropriate home where he can be with his family.
Under ICBC’s new ‘no-fault’ insurance system, Zilahi also cannot sue for compensation.
“I put 45 years into premiums. I’m suffering now with a no-fault-of-my-own accident,” he said.
“I’m here now in old age home need to be with family. Please do right thing and reunite my family.”
ICBC told Global News it supports Zilahi moving from the care facility to an accessible and safe home, and is working with him and his care team.
But Zilahi says it’s been five months at the care home — and he’s still waiting.
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