13/06/2019 by Dick Byl
NDP capping of ‘minor injury’ awards part of its incompetent ICBC management
Lawyers in Prince George, BC, and across the province are appalled by the state of affairs that the NDP has created regarding the treatment of citizens injured in traffic accidents.
ICBC has been struggling from mismanagement of funds for a few years now, and rather than attempting to fix the problems that are quite obvious to outside eyes, they have instead chosen to foist the burden of their poor choices onto British Columbians.
The Cost of a “Minor” Injury
The most recent attempt to curb ICBC’s downward spiral was when David Eby expanded the definition of a “minor injury”. For most, a minor injury brings to mind a sprain, some bad bruising or maybe some residual stiffness from a crash.
However, under Eby’s new definition, a minor injury can be anything from whiplash, concussion, mild traumatic brain injury or an enduring psychological issue. Any injury that does not prevent a person from doing the “essentials” of work or education now falls under this extremely broad umbrella. Any personal injury lawyer in Prince George can tell you that none of these injuries are “minor.”
Eby’s expanded definition now encompasses nearly 80 percent of all crash injuries. This means that a judge will not hear a claim over these cases. Instead, the injured must either deal with an unsympathetic, partisan ICBC adjuster or submit a complex and difficult online application through the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
In both cases, the cap for payout is $5,500 regardless of the severity or duration of the injury. If a person has tried to resume working while waiting for a claim, they are almost certainly disqualified from receiving even that much.
“Dumpster Fire” or Gross Mismanagement?
ICBC has been suffering from financial difficulties that David Eby has called a “dumpster fire,” but the truth is that the problems stem from incompetence and a lack of critical thinking.
Rather than opting for simple, obvious solutions that any law firms in Prince George could have recommended, such as debt instruments or better funds allocation, they have chosen to punish those they claim to represent.
Right now, the Green Party is banking on re-election from citizens who haven’t been affected by this gross negligence, but lawyers in Prince George and across the province are loudly decrying the party in the hopes of raising awareness.
The facts are plain. The party and ICBC are no longer even pretending to serve the interests of British Columbians, and this is something to bear in mind during the next voting season.