[Updated on March 11, 2021]
On March 2, 2021 the BC Supreme Court decided that sections 133(1)(b) and (c) of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act are unconstitutional and no longer in effect. These sections involve part of the CRT’s jurisdiction over motor vehicle injury (MVI) disputes.
This means that for motor vehicle accidents that happened on or after April 1, 2019, the CRT cannot decide:
- if an injury is a “minor injury” for the purposes of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act; or
- claims for liability and personal injury and property damage of up to $50,000.
The court also decided that section 16.1 of the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act does not apply to these two areas. Previously, this section required the court to dismiss or to stay a claim filed in court that related to either of these areas so that it could proceed at the CRT instead.
The CRT can still decide:
- whether a person is entitled to accident benefits under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act; and
- small claims motor vehicle accident disputes for damages up to $5,000
The court’s decision also does not affect the CRT’s upcoming jurisdiction over Enhanced Care Benefits, starting May 1, 2021. The CRT is continuing to implement this expanded area of jurisdiction over accident benefits.
The BC Supreme Court decision is under appeal, and we will update you with any developments as we receive them.
What does this mean for my MVI dispute?
The CRT is reviewing how the court decision will impact existing MVI disputes. If your existing, unresolved dispute involves a minor injury determination and/or a claim for liability or damages, the CRT will “pause” the dispute for now. CRT staff will be in touch with parties to update them as more information becomes available.
If your existing MVI dispute includes a claim for accident benefits, that claim will continue through the CRT process.
I have an MVI dispute, where should I file it?
Minor injury determinations and/or damage and liability disputes
As of March 2, 2021, the CRT will not issue dispute notices for MVI claims involving minor injury determinations or liability or damage disputes. We encourage you to get legal advice about how to proceed with your dispute and any limitation periods that might apply to your situation. The CRT cannot provide legal advice to parties.
Accident benefit disputes
The CRT continues to have jurisdiction over disputes about an injured person’s entitlement to accident benefits. If you have a dispute about your entitlement to accident benefits, you can file an application for dispute resolution with the CRT.
Small claims MVA disputes $5,000 and under
The CRT continues to have jurisdiction over small claims motor vehicle accident disputes for damages up to $5,000. You can still file an application for dispute resolution with the CRT for these disputes.
What about MVI decisions that have already been issued?
Parties wondering about the effect of decisions the CRT has already made should get legal advice. The CRT cannot give legal advice to parties.
Enhanced Care Benefit disputes
Starting on May 1, 2021, the CRT will have expanded jurisdiction over MVI accident benefit disputes. You can find more information on this area of jurisdiction here.