November 29, 2022

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ICBC Backs Down on Potential Limitation Period Showdown With Crash Victims

BC&#8217s car or truck insurance policy landscape is at the moment in a mess.  There is a Civil Resolution Tribunal that may possibly be unconstitutional.  Some crash victims nonetheless have the suitable to sue the at fault motorist that wounded them.  Some are caught in a interval of time exactly where they can nevertheless sue but deceptively labelled &#8216minimal injuries&#8217 have capped damages.  The constitutionality of that regulation is staying questioned in ongoing litigation.  Some crash victims have no suitable to sue at all.  The constitutionality of that regulation is staying questioned.  Distinct as mud?

Issues are, in a term, sophisticated.

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

Crash victims following April 2019 &#8211 May 2021 have the proper to sue.  They can get suffering and struggling.  If their accidents are considered &#8216minimal&#8217 their ache and suffering is capped at about $5,500.   If the victim sues in BC Supreme Court docket and the at fault motorist (practically constantly insured by ICBC) promises the accidents are minimal they can search for an software that the claim be diverted to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

Simply because of the pandemic there has fundamentally been a a single yr extension of the time restrict to sue in BC Supreme Courtroom.  The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal gave no these types of courtesy.  So in short a crash target can sue in time in BC Supreme Courtroom, ICBC can hypothetically seek to dismiss the lawsuit and talk to that it be requested to be restarted at the CRT.  If a court docket grants such an purchase the sufferer only has a couple weeks to get started the proceeding there.  But what if the assert is past two several years at the time this transpires (the regular limitation interval)?  Can they refile in the CRT or are they out of time?  The BC Governing administration, in all their attempts to stack the deck of the vehicle coverage procedure in ICBC&#8217s favour, did not bother clarifying this.  It is unclear what the best consequence would be (nevertheless there are sturdy arguments as to why the re-submitting really should be authorized, I&#8217ll conserve people for a further working day).

ICBC has made the decision to back again down and not raise this challenge.  A letter was sent by counsel for ICBC to counsel for plaintiffs in some of the ongoing constitutional issues where by the Crown Corporation agreed to back again down.  I&#8217ll let the letter discuss for alone.  Precisely ICBC&#8217s Director Promises Applications & Technique states that

&#8220The context of individual worry will involve actions that ended up commenced within time in the BCSC but are introduced
to the CRT outside of the relevant limitation interval. You ask no matter whether in that context, ICBC insured defendants will choose the place that the Limitation Act applies to the commencement of the assert ahead of the CRT. We verify that to day ICBC has not, and heading ahead will not,
instruct counsel symbolizing ICBC-insured defendants to depend on a Limitation Act defence in that context. &#8221

A tiny little bit of clarity in a brutally advanced legal landscape.