Saanich man paralyzed in 2021 crash launches legal challenge of ICBC no-fault insurance

Saanich man paralyzed in 2021 crash launches legal challenge of ICBC no-fault insurance
Tim Schober is challenging ICBC after suffering a catastrophic spinal injury sustained in a crash in August 2021.

At this time last year, Tim Schober likely would have been jumping on his bike to commute to work as a lawyer or playing tennis with his wife Lisa. Instead, a catastrophic spinal injury sustained in a crash means the 67-year-old Saanich man will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

“Frankly, I’m still coming to grips with it it’s really hard to wake up and realize every day what I’ve lost,” Schober said.

It was the afternoon of August 18, 2021, when Schober was hit by a vehicle while cycling down Douglas Street near Haynes Road next to the Patricia Bay Highway. Saanich Police continue to investigate the crash. Schober was airlifted to Vancouver where he remained for nearly seven months.

While he is still coping with his life-changing injuries, Schober has a new battle on his hands. Along with the Trial Lawyers of BC, he’s launching a constitutional challenge of ICBC’s no-fault insurance.

READ MORE: B.C. government to squeeze lawyers, legal costs out of ICBC

Because car crash victims like himself can no longer sue for compensation and get a lump sum like other injury victims, Schober says they’re limited in what benefits they can receive.

“That literally makes the injured person completely beholden to ICBC and the decision makers at ICBC so you’re going to be controlled and supervised by them without really any opportunity to challenge that in any meaningful way,” said William Dick, president of the Trial Lawyers of BC.

“So we’re challenging that legislation on the grounds that it discriminates against disabled and injured people in different ways.”

Schober says he’s had to submit everything from his house renovations to a set of hospital bed sheets through an adjuster and is already more than $130,000 out of pocket.

“I thought of my colleagues I met at the rehab hospital and many of them don’t have the resources that I have and I’m thinking they’ll be getting screwed by ICBC and they won’t know it and they won’t have the ability to challenge that,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed Monday morning and was expected to be served to the government Monday afternoon. At that point, it’s expected they will file a response.

On Monday afternoon, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General said, “While we can’t comment on a potential filing that we haven’t seen, government carefully considered constitutional questions in the design of the Enhanced Care model which draws on the experience of other jurisdictions where similar models are in operation.”

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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