Accident and injury claims continue to rise in B.C. (Black Press files)

B.C. limits ‘duelling’ expert witnesses in ICBC injury cases

David Eby says limits on experts for wage loss, future care

The B.C. government has changed its court rules to limit the number of expert witnesses that can be used in injury lawsuits against the Insurance Corp. of B.C.

Attorney General David Eby said Monday the new rules align B.C. with changes made in other provinces many years ago. The move comes days after ICBC announced it is facing another deficit of more than $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year March 31.

RELATED: ICBC expecting $1.18 billion loss for this year

Lawyers are bringing as many as six experts or their reports into court to speak on issues such as future wage loss and future medical care, while ICBC generally only uses two, he said. Some of those experts provide “expensive medical reports about people they have never met or examined,” Eby said. “It doesn’t advance any interest to have six-plus experts on a claim.”

Under the new court rules, which take effect immediately by cabinet order, parties will be able to use one expert and report for claims of less than $100,000, which the ministry is calling “fast-track claims.” Up to three experts and reports are allowed for all other claims. Judges will still have discretion to permit additional court-appointed or jointly agreed experts to give evidence.

B.C. is not considering going to a no-fault insurance system, and the adversarial court method is being retained, he said. More changes that take effect April 1 will cap pain and suffering claims and divert minor injury claims to an administrative tribunal.

RELATED: ICBC to cap pain and suffering payouts to stem losses

Those changes will affect about 80 per cent of injury claims, and have sparked a legal challenge from the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., arguing the court’s independence is being affected.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘This is where the movement is going to start’: Jessica Patrick remembered at memorial march

The march commemorates the one-year anniversary of the 18-year-old’s unsolved death

Upper Skeena Rec Centre officially opens

Community room named in honour of Peter and Lynn Newbery

Jury makes five recommendations following coroner’s inquest into Smithers man’s 2015 death

The jury classified the death accidental with “external pressure to the head [and] neck” as the cause

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read