The recent legislative changes in British Colombia have introduced a Non-Fault model for auto liability claims. The claims result from motor vehicle accidents in British Colombia on or after May 1, 2021. As such, the changes have affected the out-of-province auto insurers significantly. Familiarizing yourself with the amendments will help you get the most out of your claim.
Here’s everything you need to know about Non-fault law changes in British Colombia
- Personal Injury actions
One of the significant changes regarding personal injury action is that a person cannot sue for personal injuries and associated losses caused by a vehicle in British Colombia on or after May 1, 2021. However, an exception can apply, allowing you to sue and claim compensation. The scheme is unfair and will require you to seek the services of ICBC Lawyers to fight for your fair settlement.
Also, you can pursue personal injury action against:
- Vehicle or parts manufacturers, sellers, and supplies
- Garage service operators
- A person convicted of a prescribed criminal offense from using and operating a vehicle.
- Liquor licensees
- If all the vehicles involved in the accident are non-standard cars that cannot be licensed in British Colombia.
- Vehicle damage actions
According to the changes, unless an exception applies, you cannot sue for vehicle damage and associated losses caused by a car in British Colombia on or after May 1, 2021.
Your actions as the owner or lessor against a renter or lessee are exempted from the bar to vehicle damage actions. Also, vehicle damage actions can be pursued if all the vehicles involved in the accident are non-standard and can’t be licensed in British Colombia.
- Other third-party liability claims
The changes in non-fault laws do not bar third-party claims for losses. The only bar is on personal injuries and vehicle damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident on or after May 1, 2021. For instance, the following claims are not subject to the bar:
- Damages to vehicle contents
- Environmental cleanup claims
- Non-vehicle property damage, such as damage to fencing and buildings.
- First-party accident benefit entitlement
Auto insurers can expect reductions in the third-party tort claim pursued against a policyholder arising from accidents in British Colombia on or after May 1, 2021. However, claims made by the insured for first-party accident benefits arising from an accident on or after May 1, 2021 can increase.
The out-of-province auto insurer must pay accident benefits coverage to the mandatory minimum limit in British Colombia. That happens regardless if the policy wording provides any first-party personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Such can arise if:
- The jurisdiction in which the policy was issued passes a legislation requiring auto insurers to modify their policies per the laws of the jurisdiction in which the accident happened.
- The insurer has been given business authorization in British Colombia that requires that all compensation be reformed as a condition of conducting business in British Colombia.
- The policy contains a provision that requires the insurer to pay higher benefits where required to do so by local laws of the accident location.
Changes in non-Fault laws in British Colombia have resulted in confusion and uncertainty. Many victims of motor vehicle accidents end up frustrated and fail to get justice. But with the above information, you’ll be better off dealing with the issues. Also, remember to work with a qualified ICBC attorney who will assist you in complicated legal processes.