Sunday , January 17 2021

BC government to limit medical reports in ICBC cases



VICTORIA – The B.C. The government will cover the amount of expert reports allowed in lawsuits for claiming damage to cars in an attempt to rescue the besieged Crown public auto insurance money as it jumps on the verge of insolvency.

Attorney David Eby immediately stated the insurance company B.C. and sued lawyers in litigation will only be allowed to use an expert and report each quick claim of less than $ 100,000 and up to three experts and report each other claim.

The hood will also apply to existing lawsuits for car damage, where experts and reports have not yet been produced.

"The benefits of the controversial system are what we are trying to keep," Eby said. "What we are trying to address is the system's overruns that do not promote any interests. It fosters no interest in having six plus experts on a claim."

The change will save approx. $ 400 million a year, says Eby.

It will be on top of an estimate $ 1 billion in savings to come after April 1, when pain and suffering claims for minor injury cases will be limited to $ 5,000, he said. These caps will address approx. 80 pct. Of all ICBC cases, with a breakdown of expert reports aimed at the remaining 20 per cent. Of cases, Eby said.

The change is intended to settle $ 1.18 billion in losses ICBC announced last week projected for the remaining financial year ending March 31.

Eby said, on average, six experts were detained by lawyers (in case of damage over $ 100,000 within three months of trial) compared to an average of two by ICBC.

However, Eby also acknowledged that some criticism should lie with ICBC in 2017, to be captured by some medical experts on a pre-approved list that produced harmful reports against plaintiffs. It was a public audit of ICBC's pre-authorized medical experts.

"ICBC and plaintiff operate in a very broken system," he said.


LISTEN: This week at In The House podcast, Rob Shaw and guest Vaughn Palmer discuss a busy time in B.C. policy, including the final counter of Nanaimo byselection, auditor general view on B.C. Hydro deferral accounts, the legislature is subject to freedom of information law and other stories of the week.


Eby said the hope is that the changes will encourage ICBC and plaintiffs to collaborate on joint medical experts. But he also said that the changes would require the procurement of judges who still have the discretion to allow expert reports beyond the government cap when they feel it necessary.

The Bar Association's law association, which has threatened a legal challenge against the government's reforms, withdrew the expert law.

"Transferring such effects to our civil justice system without any legislative debate is undemocratic," the association said in a statement on Monday.

"This government again and again seems to favor the financial interests of the ICBC over the British rights of British Columbia, and this hastens to pass restrictions on how victims of negligence must prove their case by law is the latest illustration of making car accident victims pay for ruthless driving. "

The association also said the government has made the changes despite protests from the independent set of judges and senior lawyers from across the province.

ICBC continues to suffer heavy financial losses due to increasing demands and lawsuits. If the estimates are for the current fiscal year ending March 31, it would mean that ICBC lost nearly $ 2.5 billion. Dollars over two years.

ICBC's deficit represents a real risk to the annual provincial budget, Finance Minister Carole James said. The next budget must be filed on February 19, and Eby said ICBC's three-year expected financial situation will be released at that time.

Eby has ruled out that ICBC can increase its current rate hike application, which is 6.3 percent in the spring. He also said that ICBC will not receive a nationality.

Eby pointed out nearly $ 14 billion in replacement reserves as the first backstop of the ICBC's economy. From there it also has capital assets to sell, he said.

ICBC's latest quarterly update, released last week, flexed its "minimum capital test" – a benchmark for an insurance company's cash available to pay out all its claims in an emergency – at 17 percent. This is the first time that ICBC's reserves have dipped so low. In 2014, the minimum capital sample was 193 per cent.

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