This article provides a brief overview of the steps to be taken in making a claim for accident injury benefits with ICBC. This guide only applies to accidents that occurred on or after April 1, 2019.
Jurisdiction of the Civil Resolution Tribunal
A Notice of Civil Claim can no longer be filed to preserve the limitation of these claims and filing in the Supreme Court will likely be dismissed. All actions must be started by application to the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT).
There is no automatic preservation of the claim by applying to the CRT. Currently, once a dispute notice is issued, the dispute resolution process is started, and is not paused unless so ordered by the CRT, under CRT rule 1.15. As a result the ICBC injury claimant has two real options after starting the dispute:
□ Withdraw her claim; or
□ Proceed to adjudication
If the claimant does not seek any specific accident benefits, but rather wishes to preserve her limitation period to seek accident benefits at some future time the claim will fail. The CRT has ruled that it is inconsistent with the CRT’s mandate and section 103 of the IVR which sets out the process for obtaining accident benefits ( see: Mu v. ICBC, 2020 BCCRT 712 )
Making a Claim for ICBC Accident Benefits: Procedural Steps and Considerations
For all accidents that occur on or after April 1, 2019 the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the claimants entitlement to accident benefits. As a result, all claim disputes for ICBC injury benefits must be commenced by submitting a Dispute Application Form (DAF) to the CRT. Lawsuits for these claims cannot be commenced by filing a Notice of Civil Claim in the Supreme Court.
A DAF can be filed more than once but cannot be used to suspend a limitation period. Once a DAF is filed the CRT process is triggered and it will be rare that we will be entitled to delay.
The Supreme Court no longer has jurisdiction to determine entitlement to accident benefits and all actions started in the Supreme Court will be dismissed.
Limitation Periods- 3 Important Time lines
Section 103 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation (“IVR”). IVR provides that any action started to enforce no-fault or accident benefits must do the following:
□ The insured must have “substantially” complied with sections 97-100 of the IVR; and
□ The action must be started ( Submitting a DAF) by the later of the following:
a) Within three months after the date of the response from ICBC;
b) within two years after the date of the accident for which the benefits are claimed;
c) where benefits have been paid, with two years after the date the insured last received a payment.
These limitation periods also apply to minors. In other words, the limitation date for ICBC injury benefits for minors does not commence at age 19 but commences from the later of the above time lines.
Duties in Sections 97-100 of the IVR
An insured must meet the requirements set out in s 97-100 of the IVR. If an insured fails to do this, to the prejudice of ICBC, ICBC may deny coverage of a claim. The insured must:
□ Give prompt notice to ICBC of the accident;
□ Provide a written report within 30 days of the accident;
□ Provide a proof of claim (a standard form authorized by ICBC and provided to applicants) within 90 days of the accident; and
□ At ICBC’s request, promptly provide a certificate of an attending medical professional as to the nature and extent of the insured’s injury and the treatment, current condition, and prognosis of the injury;
□ At ICBC’s expense and request, be medically examined by someone selected by ICBC;
where applicable, permit a post mortem examination and/or autopsy.
ICBC must pay benefits unless they can prove prejudice. Please talk to a lawyer for your individual claim as deadlines and limitations periods may be different depending on the facts of your case.