What is the Civil Resolution Tribunal?

What is the impact of the Civil Resolution Tribunal on rates and rights?

What is the Civil Resolution Tribunal?

What is the impact of the Civil Resolution Tribunal on rates and rights?

Injury Caps Are Not The Solution to ICBC’s Mismanagement

The new injury cap system announced by the B.C. Government and ICBC will effectively strip away the rights of British Columbians while giving ICBC even more power and even less accountability. This is not the answer.

Effective April 1, 2019, ICBC will have the power to assess which injuries are classified as “minor”. It’s important to point out that “minor injury” is not a medical term – it is a term adopted by the insurance industry and some governments to remove an individual’s right to be treated and assessed uniquely. All injuries determined to be “minor” by ICBC will be subject to the new injury cap regardless of an individual’s personal circumstances, or unique needs. Often it is not until months or years after a collision that the true extent of pain, suffering and/or long-term impairment becomes clear.

ICBC has a history of misclassifying injuries from a financial accounting perspective – in their own reporting, many claims initially listed as “minor” were ultimately resolved as significant - greatly impacting their bottom line and British Columbian’s insurance rates. Why then would the government entrust them with the added power to classify injuries as “minor” when the amount of treatment and compensation afforded those injured on B.C.’s roads is at stake? This will only serve to harm vulnerable British Columbians while protecting ICBC’s bottom line.

Even worse, if an individual disagrees with ICBC’s decision, the only way to challenge it is through an online system called the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

What is the Civil Resolution Tribunal?

  • The Civil Resolution Tribunal is an online dispute system developed only two years ago – it has not had enough time to be tested as an effective model for resolving claims.
  • In fact, it was created to resolve only small claims disputes and strata-related issues, not complex issues relating to road collisions or your medical care.
  • Unlike the rules of Court, it does not follow evidence-based decisions, nor does it allow for unbiased, independent rulings by a Judge, restricting access to justice.

“Empirical research on ODR [online dispute resolution] methods indicates that they are most efficient for disputes with a low level of complexity.” – K. Mania, Online dispute resolution: The future of justice.

Here's What We Think:

  • It will take longer and cost more, drawing out an already difficult recovery process for vulnerable British Columbians.
  • The system will be stacked against those injured in auto collisions.
  • It is simply an extension of ICBC’s historical mismanagement.

Why? Here's What We Are Concerned About:

  • Can an online Civil Resolution Tribunal be trusted to make fair and informed decisions about the true impact of your injuries without ever seeing you in person or speaking to you? We don’t think so.
  • How will the Civil Resolution Tribunal scale-up in time to handle the dramatic increase in cases? In their entire history they have only decided 466 cases – that’s an average of only 19 decisions per month. Meanwhile ICBC injury claims reported in 2016 came in at 64,000 – an average of 5,333 claims per month.
  • In our view, all of this does nothing to address the ICBC mismanagement that created this problem in the first place. In fact, a number of alternative recommendations have previously been submitted to the B.C. Government by stakeholder groups including doctors, therapists and victim’s rights advocates, and yet they’ve been ignored. Injury caps are not the only option and they certainly are not the right solution for B.C.

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