On February 6, 2020, the BC government announced severe and sweeping changes to the ICBC injury claim process, including No Fault Insurance and limits to expert evidence and recovery of disbursements.
No fault insurance is a drastic and draconian change as compared to our tort system currently in place. A no fault scheme prevents you from presenting your individual harms and losses to the court for compensation and eliminates accountability on the part of the at fault driver. A no fault system puts all the power in the hands of the ICBC. The government made it clear that this is a system designed to eliminate the lawyer advocates that can fight on your behalf. This will apply to claims on and after May 2021.
The government also plans to limit your ability to present your ICBC claim to the court by limiting the number of experts you can retain to give evidence. Expert evidence is essential to the assessment of any injury claim, as it is the injured victims who are forced to prove their case. With these changes, it will be more difficult to do this. This may apply to claims as early as spring 2020.
On a related note, the government also plans to limit injured victims’ ability to recover the expenses incurred to gather all the necessary evidence. They plan to put an arbitrary limit of $3,000 to all expert reports, and an arbitrary limit to the overall amount of expenses that can be claimed. This may apply to claims as early as spring 2020.
Hammerberg Lawyers LLP supports progressive changes to our system of justice and system of managing injury claims. However, change must not be at the expense of innocent victims. Right now, all of the above are just proposals. Check back for more updates on these changes.
For more information:
Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun: https://bit.ly/2UI0Oh5
Ian Mulgrew, Vancouver Sun: https://bit.ly/2OMyvKr
The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch: https://bit.ly/2voFId3