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Insurance Corporation of British Columiba Offer of Settlement Should have been Accepted

 

The injury claimant in this Insurance Corporation of British Columbia hit and run case(Dickson v. Insurance Corporation of Canada, 2010 BCSC 1834) was in a car accident with a person that fled the scene. The claimant injury lawyer was able to prove the fleeing driver was 50% at fault for the accident and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) would be responsible for paying 50% of all losses for the car accident subject to the legal limits.  ICBC however made an offer to settle the issue of fault before the trial at 50/50. The judge therefore denied the injury claimants costs after the ICBC offer to settle was given.  As the Supreme Court Judge pointed out,
Under the previous Rule 37 it is clear the defendants would have been entitled to double costs for matching the offer since it was equal to or better than the result achieved.  However, the “new” Rule 37B, as it then was, ( Which is now Rule 9-1 discussed below) is clearly open-ended and affords discretion to the court to consider the following factors:
(a)      whether the offer to settle was one that ought reasonably to have been accepted, either on the date that the offer to settle was delivered or on any later date;
(b)      the relationship between the terms of settlement offered and the final judgment of the court;
(c)      the relative financial circumstance of the parties; and
(d)      any other factor the court considers appropriate.
The judge awarded costs of the case to the injury claimant to the date of the receipt of ICBC’s offer to settle and no costs thereafter. The offer was sent five days before the summary trial and therefore the claimant was denied costs of the hearing.
I have been a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver since 1995 and have had to adapt to several major overhauls in the civil rules over the years. The current rule dealing with offers to settle is Rule 9-1 — Offers to Settle is essentially the same as the old Rule 37B and Rule 9-1(6) states,

“Considerations of court

(6)  In making an order under subrule (5), the court may consider the following:

(a) whether the offer to settle was one that ought reasonably to have been accepted, either on the date that the offer to settle was delivered or served or on any later date;

(b) the relationship between the terms of settlement offered and the final judgment of the court;

(c) the relative financial circumstances of the parties;

(d) any other factor the court considers appropriate.”

ICBC settlements and offers to settle are subject to the Rules of Court and prevailing common law. Get a personal injury lawyer to take a look at any offer you may receive from ICBC before signing a release of your claim. Posted by  Mr. Renn A. Holness

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