Independent Medical Examinations in CRT Motor Vehicle Injury Disputes
By Lauryn Kerr, CRT Legal Counsel
On April 1, 2019, the CRT started resolving many motor vehicle injury (MVI) disputes in British Columbia. This includes determinations of whether an injury is a “minor injury”, disputes about accident benefits, and disputes about damages and fault up to $50,000.
MVI disputes usually involve expert medical evidence about a person’s injuries. Each party can submit expert evidence from their own experts. However, sometimes the CRT will also order an independent medical examination (IME). The tribunal can order an IME if a party requests one, or if the tribunal identifies that one is necessary.
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
- Expected recovery
Roster of medical professionals
The CRT Chair is establishing a roster of medical professionals who will provide IMEs in MVI disputes. In a dispute where an IME is required, the CRT will select a medical professional from the roster, based on that professional’s area of specialization.
If you are a medical professional who would like to join this roster, see our For Medical Professionals page for information.
Medical professionals may prepare the IME report based only on a review of medical evidence and information. Or they can require that the injured party attend an in-person examination.
IME fees and expenses
Unless the tribunal orders otherwise, the party that requests the IME will be responsible for paying the costs of the IME. If they can’t afford to pay it, they can request that the tribunal order that a different party pay for the IME.
The party that pays for the IME may be able to recover some or all of these costs at the end of the tribunal proceeding. We wrote about recoverability of fees and expenses in an earlier blog post.
If you have any questions about this area of CRT jurisdiction, please contact us.