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

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Chemainus

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Crofton Alternate Water Supply Project eliminates boil water advisories

System takes away the need to utilize Crofton Lake in the event of a disruption to mill source

Chemainus sea walk plans get a boost

North Cowichan to sign right-of-way agreements with VIHA

Local beekeeper wants residents to use pesticides more responsibly

Paula Masyk has kept bees for a little over two months, and has had two pesticide events since then

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

Nanaimo a prime market for new plane, Air Canada says

Vice-president previews Airbus A220, praises Nanaimo’s growth in passenger numbers

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

RCMP deploys special unit in Comox Valley to combat organized crime

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit spends four days targeting organized crime in Courtenay

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

Most Read