Expert Evidence and Expenses in MVA Personal Injury Disputes

By Lauryn Kerr, CRT Legal Counsel

On April 1, 2019 the CRT will have expanded jurisdiction over certain motor vehicle accident claims. We wrote about this in our blog post last week.

The CRT currently has jurisdiction over small claims and strata disputes. The changes to our legislation will expand the CRT’s scope to include making decisions on the following matters relating to motor vehicle accidents, where there is disagreement between a person and the insurance company:

  • The entitlement to receive accident benefits;
  • The classification of an injury as a minor injury; and
  • Liability and quantum decisions for motor vehicle injury claims up to $50,000.

There are two pieces of legislation that are important for this new area of CRT jurisdiction. The first is the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. The second is the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act.

This week we want to give you more information about the Accident Claims Regulation under the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act. This regulation will apply to the CRT’s accident claims jurisdiction. It won’t apply to our small claims or strata property jurisdiction.

We’ll explain some of the main areas of the Accident Claims Regulation below.

Expert Evidence

A party can submit expert evidence from one expert as part of their evidence for a dispute under the CRT’s accident claims jurisdiction. A party can also ask the CRT to give them permission to use up to two more experts. When deciding whether to allow the party to use additional experts, the CRT will consider whether the additional expert evidence is reasonably necessary and proportionate to the claim.

Independent Medical Examinations

For a dispute under the CRT’s accident claims jurisdiction, the tribunal may appoint an expert to conduct an independent medical examination (IME).

An expert who conducts an IME is asked to give their independent opinion of the party’s injuries. This might include the nature and extent of the injuries, the diagnosis, and the expected recovery.

Allowable Expenses

There are limits on the amount that the CRT may require one party to pay to another party for their dispute-related expenses including expert reports, independent medical examinations, tribunal fees, and legal fees.

Here’s a summary of these limits:

CategoryAmountDescription
Fees, expenses and charges5000The CRT may require one party to pay another party up to $5,000 for fees, expenses and charges. This includes tribunal fees, expert fees, and legal fees. It does not include fees associated with an independent medical examination.
Experts2000The CRT may require one party to pay to another party up to $2,000 for each expert. This is included in the $5,000 limit per dispute for all fees, expenses and charges.
Independent Medical Examinations2000The CRT may require one party to pay to another party up to $2,000 for expenses and charges associated with an independent medical examination, plus reasonable travel and out-of-pocket expenses. This amount is not included in the $5,000 limit per dispute for all other fees, expenses and charges.

We’re reporting monthly with 3 highlights from our implementation work for this new area of jurisdiction. As always, if you have questions or comments, please let us know.