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Common Questions

I've been hurt in a motor vehicle accident. What can I do?

Last reviewed in May 2021 by the Clicklaw Editors.

First, you have to report the accident to an insurer. In BC, the basic insurer for drivers is the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC). If you are a pedestrian, cyclist or passenger, you must also contact ICBC. Call or report your claim online to ICBC

The following information is for when you have disputes afterwards.

Since April 1, 2019, the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) can make decisions on the following matters:

  • Entitlement to accident benefits
  • Classification of an injury as a "minor injury."
  • Fault and damages decisions for motor vehicle injury claims up to $50,000

For motor vehicle accidents between April 1, 2019, to April 30, 2021:

  • For an accident benefits dispute, you can only take the claim to the online CRT.
  • For minor injury determination and resolving fault and damages, you can either go to court or start a claim at the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). Consult a lawyer for legal advice before deciding where to go. 
NOTE: On April 8, 2021, the BC Court of Appeal temporarily suspended an earlier BC Supreme Court ruling that parts of the CRT's jurisdiction over motor vehicle injury disputes were unconstitutional. This means that the CRT can continue to make minor injury determinations until the appeal is decided and resolve fault and damages claims up to $50,000. See the updates here, including an infographic about where to file your claim and a Q&A section.
 
For motor vehicle accidents on or after May 1, 2021, the new care-based model for automobile insurance (Enhanced Care) applies. Under this coverage, you will get compensation for your injuries based on the new rules. The new model should reduce the number of legal actions brought to the justice system. However, in some cases involving Criminal Code offences, you can still sue. Consult a lawyer for legal advice. For accident benefits disputes, you can start with the CRT Solution Explorer. In other words, the CRT will continue to have exclusive jurisdiction over the Enhanced Accident Benefits disputes.
 

Good starting points include:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents and Injuries Solution Explorer, from Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), is the first step in the online Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) process, with free legal information and tools. Select your accident date to begin your exploration.
  • LSLAP Manual: Automobile Insurance (ICBC), from the UBC Law Students Legal Advice Program, has a section on personal injury claims. The section includes a description of different court jurisdictions – the small claims division (BC Provincial Court), the CRT, and the Supreme Court of BC. The last section in the manual provides an introduction to the changes to an almost full “no-fault” system.
To help you see the differences between the courts, also see:

Need more help?

  • The Lawyer Referral Service offers a free 30 minute initial consultation with a (personal injury) lawyer. You can contact them at 604.687.3221 in the Lower Mainland, or 1.800.663.1919 toll-free elsewhere in British Columbia.

See our related common questions:

tags
ICBC, car accidents, personal injury, MVA, motor vehicle accident, motor vehicle accidents, tort, ICBC claims, ICBC adjuster, accident benefits