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Province reviews doctors assessing victims of car accidents

Recent headlines have caused a nation-wide outcry about how accident and injury victims are assessed in Canada. British Columbia is the second province to review its system following an investigative report from the Globe and Mail in early December. They aim to review the list of doctors who may offer independent medical evaluations, or IMEs, for victims of car accidents or other accident claims. So far, one doctor has already been removed from the roster.

British Columbia residents must purchase basic coverage from the province's insurer, the ICBC. The ICBC released a statement confirming that its review of doctors following the report from the Globe and Mail will be completed within 90 days. Currently, there are approximately 700 doctors on the roster who may currently offer an IME.

The doctor who was removed from the roster was named explicitly in the article as submitting biased reports for victims of car accidents on behalf of insurers. The ICBC hired this doctor directly for his reports, for which he was paid $1.8 million over the past eight years. Currently, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is responsible for oversight of physicians, including investigating victim complaints over IMEs.

Car accidents can cause a great deal of suffering for victims and their families, challenges which can be deepened by issues accessing compensation from insurance companies. While the ICBC is looking into the issue of IMEs, there are still many legal concerns victims and their families may need to fight following an accident. Those who need legal council and representation in these matters should contact a British Columbia lawyer.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "B.C. reviews list of doctors who can assess auto-injury victims", Sunny Dhillion, Dec. 13, 2017

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