Tribunal to settle some auto injury disputes in British Columbia - InfoNews

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Tribunal to settle some auto injury disputes in British Columbia

March 29, 2019 - 2:17 PM

VANCOUVER - Injury claim disputes from motor vehicle accidents in British Columbia valued at $50,000 or less will be resolved through a tribunal starting Monday.

The provincial government is expanding the services of the Civil Resolution Tribunal to resolve claim disputes with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and other insurers.

Attorney General David Eby said under the current system people had to wait a long time to get a decision.

"People often had to wait two years or more to resolve their disputes with ICBC and sometimes just to get a trial date, never mind get a decision, and that has meant significant legal expenses along the way as well," he said at a news conference Friday.

By handling these disputes the tribunal will free up resources in the court system to handle catastrophic injury claim cases, which will still go to the B.C. Supreme Court, he said.

The public auto insurer is expected to save about $1 billion a year as a result of Friday's announcement, Eby said.

"It is not the whole solution," he said, adding that more changes are coming in September.

The tribunal is already used to settle small claims cases as well as strata and property disagreements without using lawyers.

On ICBC disputes, the tribunal will determine based on evidence presented from both parties whether an injury is considered minor according to legislation, what entitlement there is to accident benefits and responsibility for a crash.

The province says where parties can't agree, the tribunal can make binding decisions that are enforceable as court orders.

The tribunal has been operating since 2016 and operates independently from the government and ICBC.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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