The British Columbia government is moving to curtail lawyers and legal costs in the public auto insurance system by severely limiting injured people's ability to sue at-fault drivers or the auto insurer after a crash.
The government says legislation will be introduced in the coming weeks that will lower premiums at the Insurance Corporation of B.C. by about 20 per cent, an average of $400 in savings per driver.
At the same time, maximum care and treatment benefits for anyone injured in a crash would increase to at least $7.5 million, and those benefits will be available to every B.C. driver without having to hire a lawyer.
If the legislation is passed it will take effect in May 2021 and will require ICBC to assist every person who makes a claim and ensure that they receive all their entitled care and benefits.
The government says that people can still sue at-fault drivers if they are convicted of a criminal offence linked to the crash, such as drunk driving, and they could also sue a vehicle manufacturer if a defect caused or contributed to the collision.
If a customer has a complaint about how ICBC handled their case, they can turn to the independent Civil Resolution Tribunal, the B.C. ombudsperson or the recently announced ICBC fairness officer.
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