The June 1st, 2016, revisions to the
Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule will change how
attendant care is covered by auto insurance. For the
non-catastrophically injured, most will see these changes
effectively eliminate the attendant care benefit.
The biggest change is financial – whereas prior to the
revisions attendant care was paid from a separate fund from medical
care and rehabilitation benefits, they will be combined and paid
from a single fund. Currently, in cases of non-catastrophic
personal injuries, the maximum amount payable is $36,000. With the
changes, there will be a reduction of funding – with all
rehabilitation and medical care sharing the same benefit limit
resulting in attendant care having to compete with a number of
other therapies for priority. This will place additional strain on
a system that already has cases where patients with serious, yet
non-catastrophic injuries, run out of attendant care coverage
before their surgery or other treatments can take place.
For catastrophic injuries, the combination of benefits being
paid from the same limits is also problematic. The previous
attendant care benefit was a full million dollars – as of
June 1st, 2016, medical care, rehabilitation, and attendant care
will all be sharing a single million dollar statutory benefit. And,
with the severity associated with catastrophic injuries, surgery
and therapy will likely take priority over attendant care. This is
particularly problematic, as one million dollars is often
insufficient to cover a lifetime of attendant care benefits after a
catastrophic personal injury, much less both attendant care and
On first blush, it seemed that the package of revisions included
a positive benefit of extending the time during which attendant
care was payable for the non-catastrophically injured from two
years to five. However, the limit of the amount payable did not
correspondingly increase. Running out of funds for attendant care
was already an issue for patients with non-catastrophic injuries,
and increasing the timeframe during which they are eligible to
receive attendant care benefits provides no solution when there
isn't enough money in the first place.
The new changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
represent a severe problem when it comes to providing attendant
care for those who have suffered a personal injury. The challenge
ahead for attendant care providers will be to find a way to provide
a high quality of care with even less funding – and in the
end, it may be that the ability of a patient to receive quality
attendant care depends more on whether they bought optional
insurance coverage than statutory benefits. Once again, a
reminder to all to review their insurance coverage at the time of
Automobile drivers, like fine wine, tend to get better with age. Older drivers can draw on a wealth of experience from their years on the road to assist them when faced by a variety of dangerous conditions.
Under B.C.'s former and current Limitation Act, the limitation period for a Plaintiff's claim can be extended on the basis of a Defendant having acknowledged in writing some liability for the cause of action.
The insurance industry will be interested in Ledcor Construction Ltd v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co because of principles the Supreme Court of Canada applied to the "faulty workmanship" exclusion in a Builders' Risk policy.
The recent Preliminary Issue decision in Walsh and Echelon (FSCO A15-007448, August 31, 2016) confirms that an economic loss does not need to be demonstrated in order to be entitled to attendant care benefits.
For the first time in BC, a Court has decided that an insured is entitled to special costs, rather than the lower tariff costs, solely because they were successful in a coverage action against their insurer.
Policyholders recently won a key victory at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ledcor Construction Ltd. v. Northbridge Indemnity Insurance Co. as the Supreme Court clarified the interpretation of a standard form...
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