As of May 1st, 2021 ICBC is introducing it’s controversial no-fault insurance in British Columbia. As a crown corporation, the BC government claims that by circumventing the formal legal process that has been in place for many years, it will allow consumers to save money on their insurance premiums. While any potential savings remain to be seen, many of the changes could have a negative impact for people who suffer from injuries resulting from a car accident.
Let’s take a look at what no-fault insurance means for you.
What Is No-Fault Insurance and the impact on you?
ICBC’s new no-fault insurance coverage means policyholders can receive benefits for injuries and potential wage loss regardless of who was at fault for an accident, based on an amount that ICBC has pre-determined for different types of injuries. If the insured has concerns with what ICBC deems to be fair, they may address their concerns through ICBC’s fairness commissioner, the B.C. ombudsperson or the Civil Resolution Tribunial (CRT), without legal representation. At Dick Byl Law, we feel that these restrictions around legal recourse are fundamentally wrong.
No-fault insurance will remove your right to have legal representation in dealing with ICBC. The less tangible consequences of a car accident, such as pain and suffering, are no longer taken into consideration for the insured and the ability to sue another insured driver for additional compensation is no longer an option – with very few exceptions.
Can You Still Still Sue the At-Fault Driver after May 1st, 2021?
The answer is no, except in cases where the at-fault driver is convicted of a criminal code offence, such as impaired driving. The new no-fault system compensates people who are injured based on the amount that ICBC has pre-determined for different types of injuries. This will restrict how much you could get if you’re injured in an accident compared to the previous system under which litigation could result in a settlement based on your personal particulars.
ICBC “Enhanced Care” coverage also doesn’t cover payments for pain and suffering or intangible damages like lost enjoyment of life, placing more restrictions on what’s available to you.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident prior to May 1st, 2021, you can still sue under the old system for a period of up two years after the date of your accident.
Where to Turn for Help If You’ve Been In an Accident
In a nutshell, it depends on when your accident occurred. If you were injured in a car accident before May 1st, 2021 you will still have the right to sue and retain legal representation for a period of two years after your accident occurred. If your accident occurs after May 1st, 2021 your options to sue and have legal representation will be very limited and any compensation will be based on a pre-determined amount set by ICBC.
Dick Byl Law is here to help. Get in touch with us today to discuss your situation with a personal injury lawyer and find out what we can do to help.