To be clear, when ICBC refers to legal costs, they are referring to their own legal costs. Not legal costs incurred by injured parties to pursue their own personal injury claims. Those lawyer’s fees typically come out of the settlement.
The article above states that the number of claims has increased by 2000 to 4000 annually. Firstly, a significant portion of this is going to be the result of natural growth. The last census revealed that British Columbia’s population was growing at a rate of about 7%/5 years, with areas like Vancouver, Surrey, and the rest of the lower mainland growing especially fast:
More people means more cars, which means more car accidents. There are also issues of monetary inflation, with the inflation rate in Canada being around 2%.
ICBC states texting as an increased cause of rear end collisions, which may be true. However, a bulk of the increase may be attributable to a more knowledgeable public and a more combative legal atmosphere. It is now common place to see advertisements for personal injury lawyers on television, in newspapers, on facebook, on youtube, etc…As more people retain lawyers and fight for proper settlements, ICBCs expenses increase. ICBC has, in my opinion, also attempted to lower claim payouts by being increasingly combative and offering lower and fewer settlements. This increases the need for injured parties to retain lawyers to get a fair settlement and prolongs the legal process.
Please let me know what you think of ICBCs rate increases in the comments section below.