Civil Resolution Tribunal Jurisdiction
Starting April 1, 2019, the civil resolution tribunal has jurisdiction over a significant part of motor vehicle claims.
The civil resolution tribunal has jurisdiction if:
- You suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident that happened on or after April 1, 2019
- You suffered an injury that falls within the legislative definition of a “minor injury”; or
- The total amount of damages you suffered is less than $50,000.
This is a change because injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents before April 1, 2019 fell exclusively within the jurisdiction of the BC Courts.
If you have suffered injuries from a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to one or more of the following heads of damages:
- Damages for pain and suffering (called non-pecuniary damages or non-pecs)
- Any wage loss missed between the date of the accident and the date of your Court trial or civil resolution tribunal hearing (called past wage loss)
- Potential loss of ability to work in the future due to the injuries (called future loss of capacity)
- Damages for the cost of future care that is required because of the injuries you have suffered (called future care costs)
- Loss of ability to perform housekeeping tasks
- Out of pocket expenses associated with your injury, such as bus fare or taxis to and from your doctor visits, visits to specialists such as physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, etc. (called special damages) – there are special rules for these damages as set out below
- Any loss of income by your family members because they had to spend time taking care of you because of your injuries (called in trust claims)
If you have been injured in a car accident, the first step is for you to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Depending on your personal injury lawyer’s estimate of the total value of your claim, she will assist you to file a claim either in the BC Supreme Court, or directly with the civil resolution tribunal.
If your lawyer believes that the total value of your damages claim is not likely to exceed $50,000, they will most likely file your claim with the civil resolution tribunal. The civil resolution has specialized expertise over claims where the global damages are less than $50,000.
If your lawyer believes that the total value of your damages claim exceeds $50,000, they will first file a claim on your behalf in the BC Supreme Court, regardless of whether your injuries count as “minor injuries” or not.
Once that claim is filed, your lawyer will next determine whether it is possible that the injuries you have suffered from the accident fall within the new definition of “minor injury”.