Changes to British Columbia’s auto insurance industry has many residents up in arms. The changes would also affect the personal injury claims of many residents since the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is trying to curb its losses. Trial lawyers have begun two challenges to ICBC reforms, indicating in one instance that the $5,500 cap on pain and suffering claims for minor injuries and the move to direct disputes under $50,000 to the Civil Resolution Tribunal are out of line.
The B.C. Supreme Court already sided with lawyers in its ruling that it is unconstitutional to limit the number of expert reports in cases. The province made the decision last February to limit medical experts’ opinions, effective immediately. The government may still decide to challenge the Supreme Court ruling, deeming the expert limit unconstitutional.
ICBC is claiming more than $1 billion in losses for this fiscal year, which ended on March 31. Nearly $2 billion was paid out to law firms that included settlement payments for victims of vehicular crashes. A recent document shows an increase in the number of ICBC staff that earn high incomes. Ninety-three ICBC employees made $150,000 or more a year in 2018-2019 — almost twice as many in 2016.
British Columbia residents who have been injured in an accident as the result of someone else’s negligence have the right to speak with a lawyer experienced with personal injury claims. A lawyer may be able to help a client determine who is at fault for an injury and how that party should be held responsible. A lawyer may also be able to help a client to deal with an insurance company like ICBC.