Court Challenge Launched Against ICBC's "Minor" Injury Laws
Update – Below is a copy of the filed Notice of Civil Claim. It is a compelling and concise pleading and I recommend that lawyers and non-lawyers alike review the arguments in full. In short it argues that the scheme of capping ‘minor‘ injuries and forcing some claims away from the BC Supreme Court violates s. 15 of the Charter (which I previously discussed here) and also is an improper derogation from the Superior Court’s jurisdiction as contemplated by s. 96 of the Constitution Act.
ICBC “Minor Injury” Caps Charter Challenge
No April Fool’s joke. If you are in a crash in BC from today forward your rights have been stripped. Your ability to claim non-pecuniary damages for injuries labelled “minor” has been capped.
The word “minor” does not mean what you think. It has been defined to include many serious injuries including brain injury, psychological conditions, psychiatric injuries, chronic pain among many others. If ICBC tells you your injuries are “minor”, even if they are not, your right to go to Court has been taken away and you must first present your case before a Tribunal to get a permission slip to go to Court.
Today a court challenge has been filed arguing this scheme is not constitutional. That it is discriminatory. That it needs to be struck down.
Time will tell if these laws are valid. The judiciary will have the final say. If you are in a crash and are told your injuries are minor keep the court challenge in mind. It may be wise not to settle (while keeping applicable limitation periods in mind) while the validity of the laws are judicially scrutinized. At the very least it is a factor to consider when making an informed decision about whether to accept a ‘capped’ offer for so called ‘minor’ injuries.