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

VIDEO: Surrey Vaisakhi Parade floods Newton streets

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the annual event

Setting the stage for emerging performers

Variety fundraiser and ongoing open-mics showcase local talent

VAISAKHI EXPLAINED: Founding of the Khalsa was a seminal event in Sikh history

There are five K’s – articles of faith – worn by baptized Sikhs

Four Surrey students head to New Brunswick for Canada-wide science fair

Three projects move to nationals following regional fair at KPU

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Most Read

l -->