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

VIDEO: Chocolate-smeared faces spoke to success of Fort Langley egg hunts

The historic site repeated its popular kids Easter celebration, complete with three candy scrambles

LETTER: Pepper spray attacks need to be reported

A Langley letter writer wants to see a message that actions are not acceptable

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

LETTER: Faster and easier for Willoughby residents to shop in Pitt Meadows

Writer frustrated with traffic nightmares that have and continue to plague her growing neighbourhood

VIDEO: Fan support almost deafening as Giants take Game 2 in finals

Vancouver G-Men cap comeback with thrilling third period to beat Spokane 4-2 on home ice in Langley

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Happy birthday: Queen Elizabeth II turns 93 on Easter Sunday

Sunday is the first of two birthday celebrations each year for the queen

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Most Read