In a November 23, 2018 Vancouver Sun article, Attorney General David Eby, QC is quoted as saying, “A key driver of [increasing bodily injury claim] costs is a growing trend toward plaintiff lawyers strategically building the value of the claim — costs which have to be paid for by ICBC ratepayers.”
As the Attorney General is well aware, our legal system relies on counsel on each side vigorously advocating their client’s position to ensure a fair and just result to both parties. A fair justice system respects both sides’ right to engage counsel to protect their interests. It is inappropriate to blame victims for defending themselves against ICBC’s legal arguments aimed at diminishing their claims.
The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch encourages the provincial government to assess legal costs the way they would be assessed in any business, including asking: Is ICBC adjudicating claims in a way that leads to higher legal costs? Is ICBC making the right decisions in cases it takes to trial in terms of true costs savings? ICBC management has to be accountable for decisions made and how claims are handled.
Margaret A. Mereigh is President of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch for 2018-19.