ICBC Changes 2020 – No Fault Insurance

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ICBC Changes 2020 – No Fault Insurance

Significant recent changes to the way compensation is paid to personal injury victims across BC have been making national news headlines.

Two major and fundamental shifts in government guidelines for the handling of personal injury compensation give ICBC the power to decide the amount of compensation victims receive, whilst also leaving them to pay for their own costs incurred to provide proof of injury, fault and loss.

Below is an open letter, sent to all of our clients, which explains these shocking new changes to ICBC compensation policy in more detail.

 

I am sending this letter to all of my existing clients to advise of significant changes to the landscape proposed by the NDP government and our Attorney General (and Minister Responsible for ICBC)  David Eby.

The Supreme Court Civil Rules in their current form, provide that an injured party who is successful in their litigation (either by settlement) or by achieving a trial judgment, is entitled to their reasonably and necessarily incurred disbursements.

Disbursements are the amount outlaid by us on your behalf for things like filing your court action, obtaining medical and other expert reports, etc.

This government has announced that the majority of existing court cases, will now be dealt with differently in that you will have to bear the cost of disbursements for experts that exceed 5% of the value of the claim and / or more than $3000 per expert report.  Considering that the average personal injury claim in the province is less than $100,000.  In most of these cases the plaintiff will obtain a report from the treating family physician (usually $2500), an IME physician (usually $4000 to $6000) and potentially an economist to provide multipliers or wage loss report (approximately $2000).

In this example, the plaintiff will now have to pay the cost for any expert expense that is over 5% of the value of the claim (they will owe roughly $5000 if the settlement is $100,000 and this amount increases if they settle for a lower amount).

The calculus is even worse if the plaintiff is found partially at fault for the accident.   The alternative is that we, as plaintiff lawyers, do not seek expert reports or retain less qualified experts who are willing to work under the new rates – in either event the plaintiff’s claim is minimized and ICBC has no restrictions in the amount they can spend on experts in defending the claim.

In my view this draconian and retroactive variation in the longstanding Supreme Court Civil Rules will operate to financially wound already injured plaintiffs and will financially cripple most plaintiffs who can ill-afford to spend their own money to advance their cases.

Our government has made this significant change having never campaigned on it, and has done so without consultation with the legal profession or Rules Committee.

It is unfair to particularly vulnerable people – those injured by the fault of other careless or reckless drivers. It is fundamentally wrong – headed and further skews the playing field in favour of ICBC.

The government has further announced No-Fault insurance which in a nutshell will strip British Columbians’ rights to sue at-fault drivers for their injuries. This will effectively transform ICBC into WCB where ICBC will be granted virtually limitless power to unilaterally decide what injured British Columbians are entitled to without an opportunity for a Court to decide and without the opportunity to hire a lawyer to advance your interests. This is more ICBC not less, and will result in injured people being further victimized.

If these unilateral changes to the law concern you, please contact the Premier, John Horgan, the Attorney General (and Minster Responsible for ICBC) and our local MLA, Dan Ashton, at the contact information below.

I believe if there is a groundswell of vocal opposition to these damaging changes, this government may reconsider this terrible change of position.

 

David Eby

Office of the Attorney General

Room 232, Parliament Buildings

PO Box 9044 Stn. Prov Govt

AG.minister@gov.bc.ca

250-387-1866.

 

 

Dan Ashton: Contact

Constituency:

210 – 300 Riverside Drive

Penticton, BC   V2A 9C9

dan.ashton.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Phone: (250)487-4400
Fax: (250)487-4405
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-487-4402

 

John Horgan

premier@gov.bc.ca

Phone: 1-250-387-1715

Langford – Juan de Fuca Community Office

122-2806 Jacklin Road,

Victoria, B.C. V9B 5A4

Telephone: 250-391-2801

Fax: 250-391-2804

 

By |February 11th, 2020|

A Covid-19 Update

From Hillside Law Inc.

We remain open for business as normal, but our office space is temporarily closed to the public. To contact us, please call 250-487-7030.