The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) & Litigation
New changes to legislation governing personal injury could see a reduction in the amount and numbers of claims brought in a personal injury suit in British Columbia.
BC Supreme Court Civil Rules will be amended to allow for early settlements and a larger number of self-represented litigants in personal cases.
In addition to these changes, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) has noted that the province will limit the number of expert testimonies available to both the plaintiff and defence. The move to stem the number of expert witnesses marks a willingness to regulate the $1 billion dollar losses that ICBC faces each year.
Under B.C. Supreme Court Civil Rules, plaintiff and defence parties are allowed unlimited use of adversarial experts. A large number of experts create unsustainable costs, expenses, and time to both parties. Experts in personal injury cases have now been limited to 1 per side. These changes are in place for fast-track claims. For all other claims over $100,000, parties are able to use up to three experts.
Although these changes that limit the number of experts in effect, Judges have the ability to allow additional court-appointed experts.
In addition to the rules above, the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) will be able to hear personal injury cases as of April 1, 2019.
The CRT will be able to hear cases with liabilities of up to $50,000 in an attempt to unclog the current court system, the CRT will also be able to hear disputes under the Societies Act and Cooperative Association Act.
What is the CRT?
The CRT is not a court. The CRT is an administrative tribunal. Similar to the court however, the CRT is a neutral independent body. While the CRT will be able to resolve a wider scope of disputes, the CRT will not be able to assist with certain disputes. The CRT cannot resolve disputes regarding slander, defamation or malicious prosecution.
In addition, the CRT cannot resolve a claim or dispute that has already been resolved in another legally binding forum such as a court. The CRT cannot hear cases that have been filed or heard in dispute resolution processes.
What other disputes can the CRT not hear?
- Claims involving Charter Right violations
- Claims that are frivolous or vexatious in nature
- Claims in which the limitation period has expired
- Claims in which the claim is against a government body
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