The massive ICBC withdrawal of offers to settle one year ago has sparked financial blunder and moral outrage for innocent injury victims. Supreme Court Judge’s are having to punish ICBC for failing to accept reasonable settlement offers.
In 2019 guilty drivers insured by ICBC lost a possible record number of court cases, with claimants winning again and again. This because ICBC has been refusing reasonable settlement offers. True respect and dignity is no longer shown to injured people when dealing with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. This complete failure of the reasonable settlement compensation system for victims of auto injuries is devastating real lives.
ICBC helped hundreds of guilty drivers refuse legitimate settlement offers in 2019. Predictions for ICBC settlements in 2020 are therefore poor unless the court or a caring government steps in to protect our vulnerable victims of injury. Quality of life and reasonable compensation are terms no longer discussed as ICBC changes wording from “claims” to “recovery”.
Judge Baker recently acknowledge that ICBC is sophisticated and should be accepting reasonable settlement offers. Instead ICBC has been encouraged by the NDP to make low ball offers in personal injury cases, clogging the courts.
ICBC has clearly failed to control their legal costs, breaching their service plan for 2019 and 2020. Attorney General David Eby had not only failed to reprimand ICBC, he has encouraged ICBC to financially bully innocent victims. It appears that Mr. Eby wants existing victims of personal injury to pay for ICBC past mismanagement. Mr. Eby’s estimated $400 million costs savings for expert exclusion would have been clawed from the backs of past auto injury victims.
As we brace for another ICBC financial disaster, mismanagement and misinformation appear rampant. Attorney General David Eby took the unusual step of freezing ICBC’s rate application in December, 2019, hiding the true extent of the disaster. Our current Attorney General appears to be preparing more suffering for victims of personal injury.
Mr. Eby has vowed to dumb down the Supreme Court in British Columbia by limiting access to expert opinion. This will occur with Trump like vengeance in 2020 through amendment to the Evidence Act, likely. Further effort to reduce individual rights, creating a state run one size fits all system will hamper meaningful settlement negotiations in 2020.
Here is what to look out for when it comes to ICBC settlements:
ICBC Internal Policy – ICBC will continue to make very low settlement offers to claimants. This will continue to push cases into court. ICBC will continue to look out for the best interest of guilty drivers. ICBC will cause duress for claimants. ICBC will continue using their monopoly over auto insurance to strong arm vulnerable claimants with low settlement offers.
Minor Injury Caps Post April 1, 2019– The minor injury laws will be tested in 2020. ICBC claimants are being denied true compensation and herded before a new state run board. The Civil Resolution Tribunal will prove to be yet another vehicle for ICBC to refuse reasonable settlements. Settlement offers made by innocent and vulnerable people will be ignored. The injured may well be left behind in 2020 if Mr. Eby is successful in extinguishing personal rights, which he is likely to attempt this year.
The Minor Injury Cap Regulations will continue to increase the amount of virtually denied claims by ICBC. ICBC will continue to use the regulations to minimize the value of claims, offering much less than most claimants deserve.
Without a legal advocate most auto injury claims will be virtually automatically denied as minor in 2020. This is based on the ICBC track record of denying minor claims in past years. There appears to be no plan for ICBC to turn over a new leaf.