ICBC has increased its maximum payouts for severe injuries and treatment, while moving claims under $50,000 to a new administrative tribunal to determine payouts. (Black Press Media)

ICBC caps can withstand lawsuit, save millions, A-G David Eby says

New minor injury, pain and suffering rules apply to all accidents

B.C. is catching up to other provinces in putting limits on court costs and pain and suffering awards in vehicle accidents, and a court challenge by lawyers won’t stop them, Attorney General David Eby said Monday.

All accidents that take place after midnight Sunday are subject to a $5,500 cap on pain and suffering awards that fall under a new “minor injury” definition. Injuries determined by a doctor to be minor will be directed to a new independent dispute resolution process to settle claims of $50,000 or less. That change has been challenged in court by the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. as an infringement of people’s right to access to court.

“I understand why they are upset about the changes, but the reality is, we don’t have a choice in terms of ensuring that costs are under control for British Columbians,” Eby said Monday. “The civil resolution tribunal has been tested before and upheld by the courts as an appropriate way for British Columbians to access justice on other issues.”

The lawyers’ association filed a constitutional challenge Monday, and recruited former NDP premier Ujjal Dosanjh to speak on their behalf.

“Fixing ICBC is a priority, but not at the expense of access to justice and the charter rights of British Columbians,” Dosanjh said.

READ MORE: ICBC’s 6.3% rate increase approved for April 1

READ MORE: High-risk drivers, new drivers pay more this year

Eby said the alternative to introducing limits on award payouts is increasing ICBC’s basic insurance premiums by up to 40 per cent in the years ahead. A 6.3 per cent increase took effect Monday, about the same as the previous year’s increase as ICBC projected a loss of nearly $1 billion on its operations for 2018-19.

ICBC emphasizes that its overhaul of claims allows more generous payouts for injuries. Also taking effect April 1 is a new benefit of $1,000 for therapy equipment and naturopathic treatments that were previously not covered. More money is also available for treatments under new and existing claims as of April 1, including acupuncture, chiropractic care, psychology, kinesiology, registered massage therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

The lost-income supplement for people off work due to injury is more than doubled to $740 per week, and the allowance for homemaker support for injured people is also almost doubled to $280 per week.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Jumbo saga reaches finale

A three-decade long disagreement comes to a close.

Province looking at steps to dissolve Jumbo resort municipality

Disincorporating municipality will likely require a legislative change, according to the province

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Former Waterside property to be rezoned?

Invermere residents supported rezoning Waterside property.

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Canadian public health agencies ramping up preparations in response to new virus

Health officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the emerging coronavirus in Canada

‘Naughty boy’: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77

The comedian has been suffering from a rare form of dementia

Most Read