ICBC, B.C.’s supplier of universal auto insurance, has recently been under financial distress. As we wrote in a blog in November of 2017, Attorney General Eby made a statement that the government would look into a series of short-term changes to help the insurer maintain its viability. Unfortunately, however, it seems the government is proposing new measures that would negatively affect those injured in auto accidents.
The Government of British Columbia is flirting with the idea of stripping your rights if you are injured by a distracted or impaired driver. This applies to drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians who were in an accident caused by a negligent driver who was impaired or distracted at the time of the accident.
This is done with talk of “caps.” In short, this means restricting the rights of those injured by careless drivers. Meaning, that the government is proposing to allow ICBC to cap damages awarded to injured parties with minor injuries as defined by ICBC, and not medical professionals. Allowing ICBC to define what is and is not a minor injury has the potential to give them more power and less accountability over your claim.
Caps are not new and are the creation of the insurance lobby as a product to increase profits. Caps exist in many jurisdictions across Canada and the U.S. and have proven to be ineffective in stabilizing insurance rates. Insurers, even after successfully persuading governments to limit victim rights, continue to look for ever increasing premiums.
If you think this is a bad idea tell the government no.
If you want your voice to be heard, here are some quick steps you can take to stand up for your rights:
- Follow ROADBC: This is a coalition of British Columbians committed to protecting the rights of anyone injured on our roads
- Contact your MLA: Tell them “no to caps” and to keep British Columbians rights intact when injured by careless drivers
- Join ROADBC’s Facebook Page: Share this page with those that share your views
As we noted above, ICBC is under financial pressure. That has not always been the case. In recent years, the public insurer was so profitable that the past government scooped nearly $1.3 billion from the crown corporation.
Instead of putting this money back into ICBC or taking less drastic solutions the government has publicly mulled stripping victim rights to save the insurer money. When the government strips you of your rights, it rarely gives them back.
The root cause of ICBC’s financial issues is collisions caused by distracted drivers. Instead of targeting victims of crashes the focus is better-placed on bad drivers. Steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of careless driving while not stripping away your rights can include pursuing:
- Efforts to make our roads safer by reducing speeding, distracted, and impaired driving
- Having higher risk drivers pay higher premiums reflective of the risk they cause
- Embracing safe driving technologies projected to cut down collision rates
- Returning the $1.3 Billion of past profits taken from ICBC
If you want to say no to the Government stripping your rights to benefit bad drivers contact your MLA and tell them no to caps.
At Stephens & Holman, we fight for the rights of all British Columbians who have been injured by another’s negligence. With 17 locations across B.C., our experienced personal injury attorneys represent our clients fairly and honestly while delivering comprehensive legal service. We can help you as you file your ICBC injury claim.
If you’ve been injured by a careless driver, please contact us today by filling out the form on this page or calling us at 604-730-4120 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today. We proudly provide services to those who live in Vancouver and all across British Columbia.