I’ve written extensively about some of the troubling changes the government is proposing for collision victims through their ICBC legal reforms. One topic that has yet to receive any press, and is perhaps as concerning as any, is the Government’s proposal to give ICBC and themselves total power over what therapies collision victims receive.
If you are injured in a crash by a careless driver you have the right to choose your own health care treatments. If these expenses are deemed ‘reasonable’ you are entitled to be paid back the full cost of your expenses from the at fault driver’s insurance company (usually ICBC for BC based crashes).
This will all change if the NDP pass Bill 20. Instead an injured collision victim will be stripped in their ability to recover actual ‘health care losses’ from ICBC and recovery is reduced only to an amount that the government establishes by regulation. If your actual medical costs exceed this you are out of luck. The government is stripping your right to sue for the difference. Specifically proposed s. 82.2 reads as follows:
Liability limited for health care costs
82.2 (1) In this section, “health care loss” means a cost or expense incurred or to be incurred for health care provided by a health care practitioner.
(2) In an action for damages caused by a vehicle or the use or operation of a vehicle, a person may not recover, for a health care loss, an amount that exceeds one of the following:
(a) the amount, if any, that is established or determined for the particular health care loss under a regulation under section 45.1 (1) (a);
(b) in any other case, the value of the particular health care loss.
(3) If, for the purposes of this section, it is necessary to estimate the value of a health care loss, the value must be estimated according to the value the deferred health care loss has on the date of the estimate determined in accordance with subsection (2).
(4) This section applies only in relation to a health care loss resulting from an accident occurring on or after April 1, 2019.
If you are concerned about these changes contact your MLA and speak up now. Bill 22 is set to pass into law imminently and time to persuade government to divert course is quickly running out.