The Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) is expanding its services to help British Columbians who are injured in motor vehicle accidents to resolve injury claim disputes with ICBC and other insurers.
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Starting April 1, 2019, the CRT will resolve motor vehicle accident injury claim disputes valued at $50,000 or less. This builds on the CRT’s proven dispute resolution process, which has helped thousands of British Columbians settle small claims cases and strata and property disagreements without the need for a lawyer.
“Improving access to justice is the heart of our work and what motivates us every day,” said Shannon Salter, chair of the CRT. “We are looking forward to taking on this expanded role and helping British Columbians resolve these disputes without the time, stress and expense of going to court.”
Salter told Daily Hive that over the past year, she and her team have been “working really hard” to get ready for the launch on April 1.
“Our biggest priority has to be to make sure that it is accessible and fair and that it accounts for people’s different circumstances,” she added.
For ICBC disputes, the CRT will also help determine — based on evidence from both parties — whether an injury is “minor” according to legislation, entitlement to accident benefits and responsibility for the crash. The CRT helps parties reach an agreement when possible. Where parties can’t agree, the CRT can make binding decisions that are enforceable as court orders.
“The technology we use is not that complicated,” said Salter. “Our goal is not to do things online just for the sake of it; our goal and our mandate is to take the justice system – which is often pretty inaccessible for people – bring to where they are and build it around their lives.”
As Canada’s first and only online dispute resolution tribunal, the CRT has been a part of BC’s public justice system since 2016.
The CRT operates independently from government and ICBC and is fully accessible, offering interpretation services in over 200 languages.