In this lying to ICBC about a car crash case (ICBC v. P.,2013 BCSC 238)a couple that made false statements to ICBC about a car accident was ordered to pay over $200,000 to ICBC as repayment of benefits paid. None of the litigants had hired a lawyer before making these statements to ICBC and they had involved friends in making false witness statements.
The car accident occurred at the intersection of 130th Street and 72nd Avenue in Surrey, BC and it caused substantial damage and significant injury. The claimant reported to ICBC through a friend whose English was better than hers and was initially supported by a purportedly independent witness which turned out to be a friend. The witness confessed that he had not in fact witnessed the accident, although he had driven past the accident scene shortly after it occurred. He reported that the claimant had asked him to make a statement that he had witnessed the accident, and that he agreed to do so because the claimants husband was a friend and he wanted to help him.
The judge found that the claimants had participated in a conspiracy to deceive ICBC about how the accident happened and forfeited their right to coverage and ICBC was entitled to recover against both of them. This included the moneys paid out to the husband for his car damage claim and to the wife for her Part VII claim. The total amount awarded to ICBC in that regard was $188,722.86 plus interest of $8,460.21.
The claimants continued to maintain their position, which the judge had found to be false, right through the trial and this reprehensible conduct resulted in a further punitive damage award to ICBC of $10,000 against each claimant.
Had this couple hired an experienced personal injury lawyer right away a truthful report and thorough professional investigation may well have given them a fair and reasonable chance of success. At least a lawyer would have advised them about their chances of success based on the real evidence in the case. However instead the claimant decided to mislead the court, and ICBC was successful in uncovering this deceit, which led to a total dismissal of the personal injury claim.
Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.