After months of speculation, B.C.’s Attorney General introduced changes to the province’s motor vehicle tort system. The main changes include:
- A $5,500 cap on minor injuries;
- Doubling of mandatory accident benefits (Part 7); and
- The use of the Civil Resolution Tribunal to resolve some disputes.
The cap is a tool that is already available in other jurisdictions.
The increase in Part 7 benefits will require out-of-province insurers that are signatories to the PAU (Power of Attorney and Undertaking for Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance) to match benefits.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal has been in operation since July 2016. It remains to be seen how the above claims are absorbed within the existing structure.
The new regime is effective for motor vehicle accidents after April 1, 2019. This will give the B.C. government time to work out the details.