BC’s automobile insurance policy landscape is at this time in a mess. There is a Civil Resolution Tribunal that might be unconstitutional. Some crash victims however have the appropriate to sue the at fault motorist that injured them. Some are caught in a interval of time the place they can nevertheless sue but deceptively labelled ‘minor injuries’ have capped damages. The constitutionality of that legislation is currently being questioned in ongoing litigation. Some crash victims have no suitable to sue at all. The constitutionality of that regulation is becoming questioned. Crystal clear as mud?
Points are, in a term, complicated.
1 complexity now has a little bit more clarity. This is not east to clarify succinctly but permit me give it a shot.
Crash victims immediately after April 2019 – May well 2021 have the suitable to sue. They can get soreness and struggling. If their accidents are considered ‘minor’ their agony and suffering is capped at about $5,500. If the target sues in BC Supreme Court docket and the at fault motorist (almost generally insured by ICBC) claims the injuries are slight they can search for an software that the assert be diverted to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.
Because of the pandemic there has generally been a 1 yr extension of the time restrict to sue in BC Supreme Courtroom. The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal gave no this kind of courtesy. So in small a crash victim can sue in time in BC Supreme Court docket, ICBC can hypothetically seek out to dismiss the lawsuit and inquire that it be purchased to be restarted at the CRT. If a court grants these kinds of an buy the target only has a number of weeks to start the continuing there. But what if the declare is further than two a long time at the time this happens (the typical limitation period)? Can they refile in the CRT or are they out of time? The BC Federal government, in all their attempts to stack the deck of the auto insurance system in ICBC’s favour, did not trouble clarifying this. It is unclear what the final outcome would be (even though there are strong arguments as to why the re-filing really should be authorized, I’ll preserve those people for one more working day).
ICBC has decided to back again down and not increase this problem. A letter was despatched by counsel for ICBC to counsel for plaintiffs in some of the ongoing constitutional challenges where by the Crown Corporation agreed to again down. I’ll allow the letter discuss for itself. Especially ICBC’s Director Promises Packages & Tactic suggests that
“The context of particular concern requires actions that had been commenced within time in the BCSC but are introduced
to the CRT outside of the applicable limitation period. You talk to irrespective of whether in that context, ICBC insured defendants will take the situation that the Limitation Act applies to the commencement of the declare in advance of the CRT. We ensure that to date ICBC has not, and heading ahead will not,
instruct counsel representing ICBC-insured defendants to rely on a Limitation Act defence in that context. ”
A tiny bit of clarity in a brutally sophisticated authorized landscape.