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CRT Bias Favours The Financial Interests Of ICBC And Insurers – Not Victims

Nov 18 2019

The government has empowered the CRT (Civil Resolution Tribunal) with almost total jurisdiction over motor vehicle accident-related claims in BC, with no meaningful judicial oversight to ensure this governing body will make fair or accurate determinations.

The CRT has been assigned responsibility for rendering judgment on what the government deems to be “minor injury” claims in the province, taking jurisdiction away from the courts. The CRT website, however, actively encourages injured victims to “deal directly” with ICBC and other insurers who are blatantly adverse in their interest to victims and those who oppose them.

Enter the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (TLABC), a representative organization working hard to advocate for the rights of injured victims of car accidents in BC. The TLABC has pointed out to David Eby, Minister responsible for ICBC and the province’s Attorney General, a position that administers provincial justice, “One can only imagine the public outrage if such solicitations favouring one litigant were posted on the websites of the BC Provincial or Supreme Courts. There is a gross imbalance of bargaining power and sophistication between individual car crash victims and insurance companies like ICBC and the CRT”.

By encouraging the public to deal directly with ICBC, this only serves to enhance the imbalance and gives the public the impression that the CRT is aligned with ICBC. The CRT website also implies that its information and that which comes from ICBC is reliable, which the TLABC takes issue with, as evidenced below.

Here are some examples of instances where the CRT website content is questionable:

  • How can I resolve my claim myself?
    Before you make a claim, consider trying one of the Solution Explorer’s self-resolution options. You can use these free tools to try and resolve your problem as quickly as possible. Your insurer might be able to settle your claim if you give them more information about your injury. This may include medical evidence.
  • What you should know about medical expert evidence.
    You might get a faster resolution if you negotiate a settlement with the insurer. If the insurer made a settlement offer, consider whether you’ve given them enough medical information. Medical information generally includes a healthcare provider’s treatment notes. You may even want to make them a counter-offer.
  • What would you like to do next?
    Ask the insurer to make an offer to settle. You may get a faster resolution if you negotiate a settlement with the insurer. We’ll give you a letter template.

Ask the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) to decide the accident and award damages. You might get a faster resolution if you negotiate a settlement with the insurer. If you make a claim with the CRT, your fault for the accident may be raised again during the dispute. You may also need to provide special medical expert evidence. We will give you more information about this.

Based on the above, the TLABC believes that from the very outset, the CRT is actively inviting accident injury victims to contact ICBC directly – on their own – regardless of whether or not there are liability issues that would put their legal interests directly at odds with ICBC.

Despite disclaimers to the contrary, it is troubling that the CRT is, in effect, giving legal advice to claimants that is not only misleading but is also unethical because the CRT website is offering advice on subjects over which it will ultimately be making final rulings.

RDM Lawyers LLP is a proud member of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia. If you have a question about a claim involving ICBC or the CRT, contact us. We have a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers working hard to protect the interests of victims of car accidents across the Lower Mainland.

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