'Experts' get ICBC boot

The B.C. government is clamping down on the use of expert testimony to cut costs and reduce delays in settling claims in motor vehicle accidents.

Attorney General David Eby says the changes to B.C. Supreme Court civil rules are intended to stop the disproportionate use of duelling experts and their reports in court cases involving ICBC.

Eby says accident injury claims have increased by 43 per cent in the past five years, and the use of experts has contributed to a 20 per cent rise in the corporation's injury settlements in the past year.

The attorney general says the changes are meant to encourage greater use of court-appointed experts to promote neutral expert opinions to assist in determining amounts for injury claims.

He said last week that the financial situation at the public auto insurer is critical and getting worse, with losses of $860 million in the first nine months of the fiscal year.

Eby, who's the minister in charge of the Crown corporation, said the agency is on track for a year-end loss of $1.18 billion, compounding the blow of last year's $1.3 billion deficit.

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