Talk to anyone affected by injury caps and they will tell you their quality of life has significantly decreased because they have no access to legal advice or recommendations for adequate care and treatment.
When a person has been injured thru no fault of their own, our law has always allowed an innocent victim to be put back financially to where they were before the injury. The at fault person or company must be responsible to make good the victim’s losses. Although the importance of this principle may be lost for healthy readers it applies for all of us when at our most vulnerable.
These basic human and civil rights have elevated British Columbian society to a higher quality of life than most. To take these rights away to benefit ICBC in the short term is not only short sighted, it is dangerous. These civil rights help provide us with a quality of life unmatched in most of the world reinforcing the common duties we owe to one another.
Injury caps would be a disaster for people in British Columbia due also to the existence of a government run monopoly, ICBC. The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia limits competition for lower cost auto insurance. This combined with caps would create much worse situation than we see right now even in Nova Scotia. Much has been written about monopolies and our current government owes it to British Columbian’s to educate themselves.
As other Provinces are moving away from injury caps, recognizing it is a cumbersome and unfair to the injured, our government of the day is actually trying to get this idea passed into law.
The Nova Scotia Finance Minister Graham Steele, as he then was, acknowledged that the injury caps were “unfair” and “regrettable” even when they decided to triple their cap from $2,500 to $7,500 in 2010. That cap is now increased every year with the consumer price index. Injury rate reduction did level out insurance premiums after caps but the caps cannot be said the be responsible for this change in driver behaviour.
As John Rafferty, Q.C. commenting three years after Nova Scotia implemented caps:
For the injured party, not only are they denied a recovery appropriate to their pain and suffering, but, because they often do not bother to seek legal help, they deal with the indirect consequences of their injuries alone and without adequate information. ( The Society Record, Page 12)
While injury rates have consistently gone down by over 50% in the last 20 years ICBC has financially bungled these savings and has shown little competence in providing cost effective auto insurance. These losses should not be the responsibility of innocent victims of car accidents.
Contact your MLA to make sure they oppose injury caps. Community members in British Columbia must strongly oppose arbitrary limits on victim compensation in auto injury cases.
Issue: Should we eliminate rights and duties important to our quality of life to financially benefit ICBC?