As reported on the front page of The Vancouver Sun, ICBC has applied to increase rates by 5.5 per cent to cover the rising cost of insurance, so says ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman. “Here in B.C., in 2013, our injury claims in one year were $1.9 billion. That’s up by more than $500 million from just five years ago,” stated Grossman.
While ICBC attributes the increase in accidents to distracted driving and a rise in smartphone use, ICBC also blames the rising cost of injury claims on higher legal and medical costs.
However, as explained by Eric Goodman to the The Vancouver Sun, ICBC has failed to paint the entire picture:
Vancouver lawyer Eric Goodman said that ICBC could do much more to decrease its legal costs when it comes to injury claims.
“The reason why legal expenses have risen is because ICBC is becoming less and less interested in making reasonable offers early in the litigation. The result is that these injury claims are open longer and at a far greater expense,” he said.
His firm has filed access-to-information requests with ICBC, and discovered that between 2008 and 2012 there was an increase of more than 2,000 open claims that were two years or older.
As each case drags on, Goodman said that ICBC is on the hook for medical experts and lawyers to defend their claim, as well as the injured person’s lawyer and medical reports.
According to ICBC, less than one per cent of injury claims end up going to trial, but Goodman said that figure doesn’t give the whole picture.
“Files are being kept open for five years instead of two. There’s no need to have the extra three years of having to pay costs.”
Click here to read the full article in The Vancouver Sun.Tweet