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

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Teen sexually assaulted at Radley Beach

A sexual assault took place at Radley Beach in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Topley 4-H helps Landon

This year the Topley 4-H Club will be auctioning off a steer… Continue reading

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Most Read