How Much money will ICBC injury claimants get for injuries?

The new ICBC laws eliminate the ability of car accident victims to bring claims to compensate for injuries. For accident after May 1, 2021 money is no longer awarded for pain and suffering as a result of negligent driving. ICBC injury benefits are now capped and claimants can longer expect full compensation.

A lawsuit filed on July 4, 2022 against the Attorney General of British Columbia seeks a declaration that the ICBC no fault scheme is unconstitutional. As the lawsuit states, on May 1, 2021, victims of motor vehicle accidents in British Columbia lost two basic protections. First, victims lost their right to full and fair compensation for their injuries. Second, victims lost the ability to go to court  to oppose the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”) decisions. It was unconstitutional, and hence illegal, to take those protections away from British Columbians.

Challenge to the new ICBC auto insurance scheme

The  claim alleges that the new ICBC laws adversely affect victims of vehicle accidents who are mentally and/or physically disabled. It denies those disabled persons equal protection and equal benefit under the law, by closing off  access to a fully compensatory model. The new legal restrictions and ICBC No-Fault insurance scheme appear to be discriminatory. They reinforce, perpetuate and exacerbate the disadvantage of people disabled in vehicle accidents.

The plaintiff in this lawsuit is Timothy Schober, a lawyer at the time of his injury. Mr. Schober was seriously injured riding his bicycle . On August 18, 2021, Mr. Schober was struck by a motor vehicle making an illegal highway exit. Mr. Schober now suffers from tetraplegia and requires constant care and assistance with daily living. He is incapable of practising law to any material extent at present.

The compensation to which he would have been entitled to 10 years ago substantially exceeds what is available to him after May 1, 2021. The new law protects the auto monopoly ICBC and prevents most injury victims from suing the guilty driver. As a result, innocent car accident victims cannot obtain adequate loss of income, meet ongoing needs for daily care and assistance; and receive no compensate for the pain and suffering.

The Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC), as a plaintiff, is arguing that the Enhanced Care legislation infringes upon an individual’s equality rights, and that the legislation is discriminatory towards persons with disabilities.

The current NDP government has eliminated access to independent courts. TLABC has stepped up to the plate to become the most active defender of these rights. This constitutional litigation raises issues of the highest importance to many thousands of motor vehicle accident victims and to the integrity of the civil justice system in British Columbia. Continue to follow our blog for updates.

 

 

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