Re: Supreme Court clogged with ICBC cases

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 54, No. 7, September 2012, Page 326 Letters

Dr Richardson’s editorial on ICBC injury claims [BCMJ 2012;54:117] obviously hit a nerve with those profiting under the present system. To put the size of the problem into perspective, in 2011 ICBC paid out $661 million in claims to people where a neck injury was the primary complaint—that equals $150 for every man, wo­man, and child in the province. Legal costs for the defence of claims amount­ed to $114 million of these costs. With contingency fees often at 30%, much of the remaining $547 million also went to the legal profession and their “medical consultants.” Remember this $661 million is only for neck claims—so this is only the tip of the iceberg.

This is an outrage. Imagine what the province could do in health care with another $661 million a year.

Surely, as Dr Richardson stated in his editorial, there is a better way of arbitrating these claims. Early mobilization and early return to part-time or full-time employment is proven to be the most efficacious way to treat cervical sprains. I encourage you all to contact your MLA to put pressure on ICBC to devise a way to put this $661 million to better use—helping patients rather than squandering it on litigation.
—John Walton, MD 

John Walton, MD. Re: Supreme Court clogged with ICBC cases. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 7, September, 2012, Page(s) 326 - Letters.

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