As fundamental changes to the manner ICBC does commercial enterprise are about to enter effect April 1, hundreds of insurance claims have been pouring into court registries.
There are usually among 20 and 30 ICBC notices of civil declare associated with motor automobile injuries filed every day on the Vancouver Law Courts. But within the past week, there was a well-sized boom within the wide variety of court cases filed, with registry officers on Friday processing about two hundred files.
The adjustments coming on Monday encompass a $5,500 cap on motor vehicle coincidence claims regarding pain-and-suffering for minor injuries, and the established order of a civil resolution tribunal to deal with positive claims.
John Rice, a vice-president of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C., stated he knew of a few regulation firms which have filed dozens of claims in advance of April 1.
“It’s based totally on the fear that ICBC or the NDP government will move again on their word, or do something without a note.”
He became regarding the government’s assurances that mind injuries might not be a part of the “minor” harm definition, however, in the end, reversed that position. Also, the policies might slender the take a look at for minor injuries, not develop it.
While Rice himself changed into now not filing claims in advance of April 1 and said filing before that date did no longer manage to pay for any advantage, he stated he doesn’t blame different legal professionals for doing so.
“It’s now not primarily based on any rules. I suppose it’s based on a worry.”
Christopher McDougall, an attorney who has filed some of the claims inside the Vancouver registry this week, stated he become no longer encouraged through what’s taking place April 1.
“I suppose other companies can be doing it just due to the fact there are a few uncertainties on every occasion the government makes a change like this,” he stated Friday. “And it can appear like prudent.”
McDougall added that some firms can be wishing to be “100-in line with-cent secure” and avoid any issues coming up within the future.
“I’m trying to get into the head of individuals who are doing this whilst we’re not,” he stated. “We had been filling a whole lot of claims, but that was simply normal enterprise claims. At a few factors, you have to examine the law and depend on it, that that is what it’s far.”
Whitney Derber, every other attorney who has filed claims recently, said her decision had not anything to do with the rules concerning the injury cap, but instead to do with the civil resolution tribunal.
She said the established order of the tribunal raised access to justice problems.
“What we’re doing might be taking precaution to the nth degree, however, we see it as a real opportunity of threat and we need to make certain our customers are protected.”
The government introduced the modifications ultimate yr, pronouncing they needed to be implemented to be able to stop the monetary disaster at ICBC, which has pronounced losses of $2.2 billion over the past two years.
It said the expenses for pain and struggling claims had elevated 265 in line with cent because 2000, and the establishment of the cap made B.C. The remaining province in Canada to take such action.