BC Passes 6% Disbursement Limit on “Vehicle Injury Proceedings”
This week the BC Government published their text for a retroactive disbursement limit for individuals seeking compensation for injuries caused by the carelessness of other motorists.
A 6% limit was put in place. An arbitrary percentage divorced from the actual disbursements an individual may have to incur to meet their burden of proof. A constitutional challenge is likely to be filed but unless the regulation is struck down this is another handicapping of the system in favour of BC’s insurance monopoly. This regulation in essence forces a litigant to either not call the necessary evidence to prove their case or prove their case but be disallowed recovery of the actual expenses that must be incurred to do so.
The text of the disbursement limit is as follows:
Limits on amount of disbursements
5 (1) In this section:
“disbursement limit” means, in relation to a vehicle injury proceeding, (a) the amount that is 6% of the total award of damages assessed by the court in the vehicle injury proceeding or, if an offer to settle the vehicle injury proceeding is accepted, 6% of the amount offered, or (b) if the court dismisses the vehicle injury proceeding or, at the conclusion of the vehicle injury proceeding, does not make an award of damages, the amount determined by the court;
“excluded disbursements” means the following: (a) fees payable to the Crown under the Supreme Court Civil Rules; (b) fees payable to the sheriff for non-refundable deposits in civil jury trials under the Supreme Court Civil Rules; (c) disbursements incurred by a party if the court ordered the costs of the proceeding to be paid as special costs; (d) disbursements incurred for an expert report on the issue of liability, if the court ordered that those expenses are excluded disbursements.
(2) Only the following may be allowed or awarded to a party in a vehicle injury proceeding as disbursements: (a) disbursements up to the disbursement limit; (b) excluded disbursements.
(3) The limits set out in subsection (2) do not apply (a) to a vehicle injury proceeding if (i) a notice of trial was filed and served before August 12, 2020, and (ii) the trial date set out in the notice of trial filed in relation to the vehicle injury proceeding is before June 1, 2021, or (b) to a vehicle injury proceeding if (i) a notice of trial was filed and served before August 12, 2020, (ii) the trial date set out in the notice of trial filed in relation to the vehicle injury proceeding is on or after June 1, 2021, and (iii) the court is satisfied that the party necessarily or properly incurred disbursements before August 12, 2020 in excess of the disbursement limit