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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Conservatives Scott Anderson says, “Limiting the use of experts, to reduce costs and delays in motor vehicle disputes, is just is nibbling around the edges of ICBC’s real problem”

BC Attorney Genera, David Eby

Yesterday, David Eby’s Ministry of the Attorney General announced changes to court rules which he says will help bring balance between reducing legal costs and the ability of British Columbians injured in motor vehicle accidents to receive the medical benefits and settlements they need to recover from their injuries.

 “The intent of these reforms is to avoid the costs and delays associated with the disproportionate use of experts and reports that we are seeing used today … without removing access to further expertise in situations where it’s necessary”, Eby is quoted as stating.

Attorney General Eby continued, “These changes are meant to encourage greater use of court-appointed, or joint experts, to provide a more neutral expert opinion and assist the court in determining appropriate amounts for injury claims.”

It seems then, that the Ministry is trusting that amendments to the Supreme Court Civil Rules Regulation, will put a stop to the disproportionate use of experts and expert reports, which are currently being used in ICBC motor vehicle-related court cases.  The new process has been designed to encourage earlier settlements, thereby reducing the costs of settling vehicle injury claims.

However, BC Conservative Party Interim Leader was quick in his response:
I would say that limiting parties to the use of one expert, makes it hard to mount a claim if the claim is for unrelated damages.  A prime example would be if someone is in an accident, and seeks both physical and psychological damages.”.

BC Conservative Party Interim leader Scott Anderson
This should be concerning”, continued Anderson.  

 “The governments proposed amendments state that they are meant to” …  limit the number of experts and expert reports permitted to address the issue of damages, such as wage loss, future wage loss and future care that can be used by each side of a motor vehicle dispute …

How is a Doctor of medicine equipped to speak to psychological issues, and vice versa?”, questioned the Conservatives Scott Anderson.

These changes, according to the Attorney Generals Ministry, will be applied at the beginning next February, to all ICBC personal injury claims, subject to further analysis and consultation which the ministry plans to undertake.

Anderson’s response on that however was succinct:
I applaud the sentiment but the execution is faulty. In any event, this is nibbling around the edges of the real problem ICBC faces; the ability of governments to loot the corporation.”


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