People injured in automobile crashes under the existing auto insurance system will be able to resolve their accident claims more quickly and get their compensation sooner, thanks to forthcoming regulatory changes.
The B.C. government will place a limit on the maximum amount recoverable from an unsuccessful litigant to $3,000 for the cost of each expert report in motor vehicle personal injury cases. Total recoverable disbursements in motor vehicle personal injury cases will also be limited to 5% of the judgment or settlement. Disbursements include all expenses incurred for the purpose of a lawsuit, such as courier fees, process servers and photocopying, but will not include fees payable to the Crown, such as filing fees, court fees and jury fees.
Government will also proceed with amendments to legislation to limit the number of experts and expert reports that can be used in court on the issue of damages, while providing judicial discretion to allow additional expert reports in appropriate cases. For fast-track claims (e.g., under $100,000) there will be a limit of one expert and expert report for each party. A maximum of three experts and reports for each party will be set for all other claims. The parties can agree to use more experts without the need to file a formal application to the court.
These changes will be put forward during the spring 2020 sitting of the legislature.
- ICBC vehicle injury claims increased by 43% from 2014-18.
- Since 2017, the increased use of experts has contributed to a 30% increase in the value of ICBC injury claims that are litigated.
- The limit of three experts will not apply if an expert report has been served before Feb. 6, 2020, for a trial before Oct. 1, 2020.
- The $3,000 limit to recoverable expert reports will not apply if the cost has already been incurred before Feb. 6, 2020, or if a notice of trial has been filed and served before Feb. 6, 2020, for a trial before Oct. 1, 2020.
- The 5% limit on disbursements will not apply if a notice of trial has been filed and served before Feb. 6, 2020, for a trial before Oct. 1, 2020.