According to the new law that came into place on April 1, 2019, concussions and a number of other injuries sustained in motor accidents will fall under minor injury. The new claim is a $5,500 cap which covers pain and suffering for the public.
For ages, British Columbia was the last province that had an insurance system that was primarily tort-based. Therefore when the Attorney General David Eby signed this new order, it was met with consternation and had a very mixed response.
What other forms of injury are included in this claims cap?
Apart from a concussion, other forms of motor accident injuries included in this new claims cap include:
- Different forms of whiplash
What does this mean for general public?
This decision has caused a reason for concern not only for the general public but for health practitioners and lawyers as well. Experts agree that symptoms such as depression, brain damage, and Post-traumatic stress syndrome take some time to manifest. So this decision was not met with applause.
However, the Insurance Corp. of B.C was quick to respond that there are certain conditions to this new claim. The above mentioned injuries will be considered major injuries on the condition that the problems persist after twelve months.
On the other hand, concussions, as well as mental health problems caused due to the concussion, will be considered major injuries if the problem persists for four months or more.
The affected party can still sue for loss of wages and the cost of future care. But the disputes will be examined first by a new civil resolution tribunal process, which primarily settles strata disputes.
Consequences of new law
Although there are a number of opponents who object to this new move, the government has introduced a couple of measures that will benefit the public in general.
- It has raised the fees that are required by the ICBC to be paid for medical treatment.
- It has also added a whole range of treatment and other services for treatment. Included in this list are acupuncture, massage therapy, kinesiology, and counselling.
- Faulty drivers are also eligible for full medical care compensation. This is in stark contrast to the fewer benefits according to the old law.