Personal injury cases with time limits falling after March 26, 2020 have been stalled by COVID-19. Car accidents, ICBC injury claims, slip and falls, medical malpractice and other civil claim limitations will be in large part suspended due to the pandemic.

However, the Supreme Court Registry confirmed with us today that they are still accepting the online filing of Notices of Civil Claim. The Supreme Court Registry is not accepting any filings that require a hearing, which includes Trial Briefs.

Limitation periods falling on or after March 26 , 2020 are suspended due to the Provincial state of emergency. The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General have declared a suspension of all provincial limitations because of the coronavirus pandemic. This under the Emergency Program Act.

Limitation Periods and the COVID-19 Order

This order applies during the period that starts on the date this order is made, March 26, 2020 and ends on the date on which the declaration of a state of emergency made March 18, 2020 under section 9 (1) of the Emergency Program Act expires or is cancelled, or if there is an extension under section 9 (4) of the Emergency Program Act, the date on which the last extension of that declaration expires or is cancelled.

Limitation periods in court proceedings

Every mandatory limitation period and any other mandatory time period that is established in an enactment or law of British Columbia within which a civil or family action, proceeding, claim or appeal must be commenced in the Provincial Court, Supreme Court or Court of Appeal is suspended.

Civil Resolution and Human Rights Tribunals

A person, tribunal or other body that has a statutory power of decision may waive suspend or extend a mandatory time period relating to the exercise of that power. However, this will not be automatic.

10 Limitation Dates Impacted by the COVID-19 Order

  1.  60 day deadline to provide expense receipts to ICBC for injury benefits. This is 60 days from the date the expense was incurred (Section 88.01 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation).
  2. Serving a Notice to Mediate (Insurance (Vehicle) Act Notice to Mediate Regulation).
  3. The basic two year limitation period for civil personal injury claims. (Limitation Act ).
  4. 30 days to file notice of accident and 90 days to file proof of claim for no-fault ICBC accident benefits.( Insurance (Vehicle) Regulations).
  5.  Hit and run written notice to ICBC within six months. See Insurance (Vehicle) Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 231, s. 24(2) as amended.
  6. Written notice within two months to a municipality. See Local Government Act, s. 736; Vancouver Charter, s. 294(2) .
  7.  Election of ICBC or WCB within three months. See Workers Compensation Act, s. 10(2).
  8. Claims by minors and persons under a disability. (Limitation Act, ss. 10, 11, 18, and 19):
  9.  Two years to sue ICBC for Part 7 accident benefits  from accident or last payment. See s. 103 Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation, B.C. Reg. 447/83,
  10. Ultimate limitation period of 15 years and rules for when a claim is discovered. See Limitation Act, ss. 8 to 21.

Always talk to a lawyer to get legal advice specific to your case. The lawyers at Holness and Small are well positioned, with a depth of experience and knowledge to answer the call.

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