For the government, one of the biggest selling points for moving to a no fault insurance scheme appears to be the elimination of fees paid to lawyers which the government says are some $860 million a year. Side-stepped in that pitch is that plaintiff lawyers only recover contingency fees out of damages paid to those injured on BC roads and that without contingency agreements, only wealthy people could afford to pay lawyers to fight ICBC.
More importantly, lawyers don’t work alone. The actual job losses will be among paralegals, legal assistants, and administrative staff, plus court reporters, mediation service providers, court registry staff, process servers, claims investigators and other ancillary legal services. Given the nature of the litigation process, personal injury law tends to hire more support staff, with 3-4 staff per lawyer. If personal injury lawyers are eliminated, decide to move away, downsize into another area, or start a different business, thousands of support roles will be lost in those offices.