April 19, 2024


Equality opinion

ICBC Backs Down on Potential Limitation Period Showdown With Crash Victims – BC INJURY LAW

ICBC Backs Down on Potential Limitation Period Showdown With Crash Victims – BC INJURY LAW

BC’s motor vehicle coverage landscape is at present in a mess.  There is a Civil Resolution Tribunal that may possibly be unconstitutional.  Some crash victims however have the ideal 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 regulation is being questioned in ongoing litigation.  Some crash victims have no suitable to sue at all.  The constitutionality of that regulation is being questioned.  Very clear as mud?

Factors are, in a word, complicated.

A single complexity now has a bit a lot more clarity. This is not east to make clear succinctly but let me give it a shot.

Crash victims after April 2019 – May perhaps 2021 have the ideal to sue.  They can get agony and struggling.  If their injuries are deemed ‘minor’ their agony and struggling is capped at about $5,500.   If the sufferer sues in BC Supreme Court docket and the at fault motorist (just about always insured by ICBC) claims the injuries are small they can look for an software that the declare be diverted to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Due to the fact of the pandemic there has in essence been a a single 12 months extension of the time limit to sue in BC Supreme Court.  The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal gave no this sort of courtesy.  So in limited a crash victim can sue in time in BC Supreme Court docket, ICBC can hypothetically search for to dismiss the lawsuit and question that it be ordered to be restarted at the CRT.  If a court grants this sort of an order the target only has a couple months to get started the continuing there.  But what if the assert is further than two years at the time this happens (the standard limitation time period)?  Can they refile in the CRT or are they out of time?  The BC Govt, in all their initiatives to stack the deck of the vehicle insurance policy method in ICBC’s favour, did not hassle clarifying this.  It is unclear what the best final result would be (however there are solid arguments as to why the re-submitting must be allowed, I’ll conserve all those for an additional day).

ICBC has decided to again down and not elevate this challenge.  A letter was sent by counsel for ICBC to counsel for plaintiffs in some of the ongoing constitutional difficulties in which the Crown Company agreed to back down.  I’ll allow the letter talk for itself.  Precisely ICBC’s Director Claims Courses & Method states that

The context of specific concern involves steps that ended up commenced within just time in the BCSC but are introduced
to the CRT outside of the applicable limitation period of time. You inquire no matter whether in that context, ICBC insured defendants will get the situation that the Limitation Act applies to the commencement of the assert ahead of the CRT. We validate that to day ICBC has not, and going forward will not,
instruct counsel symbolizing ICBC-insured defendants to depend on a Limitation Act defence in that context.

A modest bit of clarity in a brutally elaborate authorized landscape.