BC's New Minor Injury Laws

April 26, 2019

As of April 1, 2019 the government of BC put in effect new laws applying to injuries from motor vehicle accidents (MVA). All minor injury claims were placed under the jurisdiction of the Civil Resolution Tribunal ("CRT") and no longer under the jurisdiction of the courts.

The definition of minor injuries is broad and the way to determine if it is not a minor injury is not a simple determination by your doctor. If you and your doctor do not follow the procedures, you run the risk of being deemed a minor injury, even if your injuries are more severe than minor injuries.

There is a new diagnostic and treatment protocol for your doctor to follow. If there is a minor injury and your doctor is unable to make a clear diagnosis, you are not recovering from the injury as one would expect or there are factors complicating your recovery, then your doctor should consider referring you to a Registered Care Advisor (i.e. another doctor registered with CRT) within a time limit of 90 days from the date of the accident. This does not leave much time from the date of the accident to follow up with your doctor, so proactively making an appointment as soon as possible with your doctor is of extreme importance. It is also important that your doctor is aware of the protocol and procedures.

All of this information is important in determining if you do not have a minor injury as defined by the law. As this is a new law, the ways a minor injury will be determined are still being clarified as new cases come up. This makes it that much more important that you ask your doctor to follow the protocol and to also consider a referral within 90 days of the accident. Otherwise, if you and your doctor do not follow this new protocol, you might find yourself limited to the cap of $5,500 for the pain and suffering loss (non-pecuniary loss) even if your injury is more severe than a minor injury.

This information is provided by Sinclair Mar, JD of Manhas Mar Lawyers at mar@manhasmar.com.

"Experienced Counsel Providing Strategic Advice"