This personal injury lawsuit was settled about 10 days before the beginning of the trial, after the claimant accepted an Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, offer of settlement for approximately $155,000.00 plus costs and disbursements (Salsman v. Planes,2014 BCSC 1726). Following settlement, the claimant’s personal injury lawyer presented a bill of costs in the sum of $52,674.36. The parties reached agreement on a lot of the disbursements and some were abandoned by the claimant. From the total amount in dispute of $27,200, the Registrar in her discretion, allowed $16,200. The $11,000.00 of uncovered case expenses would then have to be deducted from the settlement amount of $155,000.00.
Excessive zeal in ordering medical opinions can go unrewarded if these reports are found to be unnecessary. The test for determining whether a disbursement or expense incurred was a proper usually requires the claimant to confirm that the expense was not extravagant, negligent, mistaken or a result of excessive caution or excessive zeal.
The appropriate standard of review of a Registrar’s decision on case expenses is whether the Registrar was clearly or plainly wrong or her assessment was based on an error in principle. If the appellant is unable to establish that the Registrar was clearly wrong or erred in principle, then an appellate court should not interfere with the proper exercise of the Registrar’s decision (see 2012 BCSC 1207). This principle was applied in this appeal and was the basis of the appeal being fully denied.
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Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.– Serving all of BC
ISSUE: Should ICBC be required to pay all case expenses when Settling an injury claim?