A lawyer representing the family of a teenager who was killed in a tragic car accident in Surrey, British Columbia, last year, says the family’s case highlights reduced ‘responsibility’ in the new ICBC system.
Caleb Reimer, Ronin Sharma and Parker Magnuson were between the ages of 16 and 17 when their car hit a tree near 104 Avenue and 160 Street around 2:45 a.m. on August 21, 2021. The trio were promising hockey players. players.
Speed and alcohol were factors in the collision, Surrey RCMP have determined.
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Under the province’s new no-fault insurance system, those who allegedly serve alcohol to teens face lesser consequences, said Robyn Wishart, who represents Reimer’s family.
“The primary focus of family is responsibility and protection for other families from a loss like the one they suffered,” Wishart explained.
“(No-fault insurance) is a huge step backwards in the campaign against drunk driving at the source where people drink, where the money is made. The new legislation protects commercial hosts for that they assume full responsibility for survival.
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Pain and suffering damages are capped at $400,000 and hosts no longer automatically face claims for financial damages. No-fault legislation can be repealed as quickly as it was introduced to “end these types of loopholes”, Wishart added.
“You have to consider what is the long-term effect of reducing people’s rights to complain and their ability to hold people accountable.”
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Global News contacted Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth to comment on the story, but he deferred to ICBC.
In a written statement, the provincial Crown corporation said if a commercial host contributed to an injury, “the customer may claim against the commercial host for pain and suffering, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.” Additionally, according to the report, anyone injured in an accident and unable to work is entitled to up to 90% of their net income up to $105,000 gross income under enhanced care, and those earning more may purchase additional coverage to supplement the amount. .
“This means that an injured customer has all of their financial losses and expenses covered by Enhanced Care, and still has the ability to seek further damages from the business host for their degree of fault, which maintains the consequences for irresponsible commercial hosts,” ICBC wrote. .
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Under the previous system, the insurer said the maximum wage loss benefit was $740 per week and the benefits available to customers were “restricted compared to what is available under enhanced care. “.
“It would often take a client many years to see a monetary reward, and whatever amount they received would be reduced by one-third for attorney’s fees,” he said.
“Compared to the previous insurance system, the Enhanced Care model better protects guests while maintaining the impact on business hosts.”
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In written comments, Bill Dick of Murphy Battista LLP in Vernon and president of the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, described ICBC’s response as “somewhat hypocritical.”
“Icbc compares its new system ONLY to the old no-fault perks – and the new perks are better [sic],” he wrote.
“However, they ignore the fact that you cannot sue the Commercial Host for all of your past and future wage losses and can no longer have your care needs independently assessed by the court.”
“Most importantly from a legal standpoint,” Dick added, under the new no-fault policy, commercial hosts are now solely responsible for their degree of fault, and more often than not, the drunk driver is the main culprit.
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