ICBC cannot rewrite history. Unpopular for treatment of minor injury claims in the 1990’s and 2000’s, ICBC has struggled to remain socially relevant in the last 10 years. The ICBC policies caused more grief to the injured than savings to the corporation. How does the NDP expect ICBC to implement these Minor Injury Regulations?
Many expect the NDP Minor Injury laws to save ICBC. How? By allowing ICBC to deny injuries are serious, labeling them minor injury. As a result, many auto injuries will be capped, almost exclusively to benefit ICBC. ICBC therefore can deny serious injuries as minor, under this new stipulative definition of minor injury.
Not Using the Term “Deny” to Deny a Claim
Insurance companies avoid using the term “deny”. Even if they refuse to pay benefits or accept a claim, the letter to the claimant may not use the word, “deny”. ICBC used to deny claims by stating that, based on the minimal impact forces and the minor damages to the vehicle, there was no compensable injury. This only stopped when ICBC discontinued the Low Velocity Impact Policy.
There are new critical timelines for proving impairment and incapacity, more red tape. As a result, if a critical event occurs after the applicable period, ICBC will call your injury minor. Even more red tape. ICBC will deny all claims for pain and suffering over $5,500, for what they determine to be minor injury. You can’t opted out*.
Nothing in the NDP Minor Injury Laws require ICBC to advise claimants that all injuries are assumed to be minor. So if you do not take steps to prove your serious injury, it will be treated by ICBC as minor.
*There is no way for motorists or vehicle owners to opt out of the system.
Motor vehicle accident disputes up to $50,000 must go to a government tribunal (CRT). This has eliminated civil justice, as known, for a large segment of motorists in British Columbia.
All ICBC Injury Claims Assumed to be Minor
The NDP government says they are moving to a care based system. They say they are not trying to minimize serious injuries. However, you need to know what the new law actually says,
4. In civil proceedings relating to an injury, the burden of proof that the injury is not a minor injury is on the party making the allegation that it is not a minor injury. ( NDP Minor Injury Law)
ICBC not Using the Term “Injury”
ICBC appears to be changing the terms used to provide injury services. However, scrubbing out the term “injury” and replacing it with “rehabilitation” does not remove the underlying severity of an injury. Using deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous, and obscure language offends the sensibilities of most citizens.
The Service Plan for ICBC released February, 2019 displays a complete disdain for victims of auto injuries. The Plan does not even use the term personal injury. Personal injury claimants are given no consideration in the ICBC plan and are treated simply as an expense exposure. When the injured are mentioned it is only in relation to costs, not compassion. Injury claimants, not ICBC, are blamed for poor financial results of ICBC. Injury rehabilitation is cost savings for ICBC, and quality of life is never even mentioned as a goal.
This is not the generational change citizens of BC had expected for innocent victims of personal injury. Where is the Quality of Life as a societal value? To single out one vulnerable group, auto injury claimants, and expect their financial sacrifice to save ICBC is simply wrong. The NDP have now imposed caps on care costs and redefined most serious injuries as minor to benefit one corporation, ICBC.
Bureaucratic Monster ICBC
In 1973 the NDP created ICBC over the protest of many forward thinkers. When ICBC is denying an injury claim, there is no ability to opt out. Mr. Gardom , former B.C. lieutenant-governor and attorney general had a forewarning:
It’s going to be another bureaucratic monster. We’re going to have more civil servants. We’re going to have more centralization. They’re going to have more buildings, more red tape, more rigidity, more control, more socialism, more bureaucracy, and with no power, Mr. Speaker, to choose or try to opt out of the system.
Now let’s look at the loss factor. This is a big item. There’s a loss factor too. There’s a loss factor in taxes to the B.C. Government — premium taxes, income taxes, sales taxes and land taxes. All of these taxes are an operational cost today within the private sector industry. And all of that revenue will go right down the drain.(Hansard, Garde Gardom March 6, 1973 1020)