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

Province announces $2.5-million boost to increase tourism in B.C.’s resort towns

Changes to RMI funding are bringing more money to places like Harrison and Tofino

Sam Weber set to play Bacchus Books April 29

Sam Weber is rolling back through Golden, and it is time to… Continue reading

Parents and caregivers in Golden can become an ‘askable adult’ for sexual health

When you were young, did you feel comfortable asking the big questions… Continue reading

Some of Golden’s top stories in a Mountain Minute

Your Mountain Minute for April 18

TSB makes two safety advisories in probe of fatal train derailment near Field

The train derailment killed three crew members on board

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through town in B.C.’s interior

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

B.C. woman pleads for people to stop stealing daffodils meant to honour cancer victims

Cynthia Bentley honours memory of those lost to cancer by planting 100 daffodils each year

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

Canfor temporarily shutting down lumber mills across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment, according to the company

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Most Read