FAIR Alberta has been raising the alarm about the drawbacks to no-fault auto insurance for some time because it protects bad, negligent or even drunk drivers and punishes innocent victims. The case of BC’s Scott Shepherd – who was recently injured by a drunk driver while walking along on Vancouver’s north shore – showcases just how unfair no-fault insurance is.
As reported by the New Westminster Record, Mr. Shepherd is finding out that no-fault insurance means he will have to pay more our of pocket to support his recovery. Here are some highlights from the story published May 20th:
On top of the trauma of the accident, Shepherd has become an early test case in a new ICBC insurance paradigm that limits access to legal recourse following a collision.
Branded “enhanced care,” the ICBC “no-fault” insurance model went into effect May 1 as part of a government push to lower insurance premiums and pull itself out of debt.
But as Shepherd slowly recovers from his accident, he said he’s finding situations where those promises aren’t adding up.
From what he understands so far, he said he may be out of pocket for portion of medical costs like that of seeing a concussion specialist.
“I don’t see how I have to be out of pocket when someone jumps the curb and runs me over,” he said. “If there was a cash settlement on the side, out of that I could make up the shortcomings of all these things on the side.”
“I’m not interested in trying to take advantage of the situation but I shouldn’t be out of pocket for things that are deemed necessary,” he said. “This is going to be a fight. I’m the first of many. It’s only a matter of time.”
All Albertans, like BC’s Mr. Shepherd, could soon be at the mercy of insurance companies if the Alberta government moves forward with insurance industry proposals to institute no-fault auto insurance here. By eliminating the ability to sue an at-fault driver’s insurance company, insurers would have no accountability in an Alberta no-fault system, and injury victims here would also be shortchanged.
FAIR believes access to impartial and unbiased courts needs to be preserved in Alberta so that bad, negligent or even drunk drivers aren’t let off the hook like they are in BC.