Here is the who, what, when, where and whys of the new landscape in BC for release of confidential and private documents in ICBC claims. Effective up to date advocacy based on leading case authority in ICBC claims can make the difference. Lawyers that specialize in personal injury claims assess the risks of disclosing your personal medical and income documents to ICBC before settlement or trial.
With ICBC being the only government auto insurance company in the Province ICBC has possession of a claimants personal information at the beginning of any litigation. Here is a start to what you need to know when it comes to releasing documents to ICBC :
1.Who?- Prior to the changes in the Civil Rules there was an assumption by lawyers in ICBC injury claims that confidential material had to be disclosed to ICBC’s legal advisers once an injury claimant filed a lawsuit. It was considered to be “the risks undertaken when bringing an action”( 2012 BCSC 1142 para 19) .
2. What? – The Supreme Court Civil Rules now limit document disclosure at the close of pleadings. Only documents that could be used at trial to prove or disprove a material fact need be listed in the uncomplicated ICBC claim.
3. When?- Since June, 2010 the Civil standard for document disclosure in ICBC cases and personal injury cases in general has changed.
4. Where?- These changes effect all ICBC claims, civil claims, and personal injury claims in the British Columbia Supreme Court.
5. Why? – To make our system of civil justice more cost effective and the processes available to litigants and their lawyers be proportionate to the claim at hand.
Take a read of the Supreme Court of Canada case of Halls v. Mitchell, p. 138- great law and has never been overturned. The Court points to the legal, social and moral imperative behind the duty of confidentiality which I believe will be part our our new legal landscape in ICBC claims.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A., LL.B.