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The Cost of Photocopying in ICBC Personal Injury Cases

Personal Injury Settlement but fight over expenses
No sexy topic but ICBC has been welding it’s monopoly in the auto industry by forcing many innocent injury claimant’s to court over their case expenses.  Photocopying costs vary greatly, medical clinics are unregulated and claimants can be forced to pay as much as $2.00 per page in these clinics. While the court has suggested a figure as low as 25 cents per page the facts can allow more to be awarded.
Many private and public companies charge 35 to 50 cents per page for reasonable photocopy costs. Here is some fuel for the ICBC personal injury lawyer’s next assessment of ICBC settlement amounts for photocopying costs.

In Gill v. Widjaja, 2011 BCSC 1822, the Court addressed the issue of less than perfect evidence in regard to photocopy costs. At paras. 32-36, the Court stated:

[32] The matter of photocopying, I adopt the words in Sovani v. Jin, 2006 BCSC 855, where Registrar Block noted, at para. 4:

The assessment of photocopying costs is typically a rough-and-ready exercise, which is very much in accordance with the comments of the English Court of Appeal in a case called Re Eastwood… where the Court said that assessment of costs was a matter of rough justice insofar as it admitted of much sensible approximation, or words to that effect. That is exactly what registrars must apply when assessing photocopying expenses or considering the volume of photocopying claimed in a case. Thus it is not an exercise of arithmetic or math or the examining of photocopying machinery expenses or matters of that sort, but is often looking at an array of binders, a collection of banker’s boxes, assessing what were needed for experts, what document discovery was involved, whether there was a jury such that they required individual copies, and all those sorts of matters, and applying experience gained from numerous other cases, to arrive at a sensible approximation of the volume of necessary copy work.

The best evidence of an expense is always to be preferred. Where a claim for photocopying can be particularized, it ought to be. Details concerning what documents were copied, why they were copied, and why the copying was necessary or proper in the circumstances, are best provided where they can be. Otherwise, the result will be a rough and ready calculation. On the other hand, in a paper-intensive case where voluminous amounts of copying take place, this level of detail will be impractical or impossible (Ali v. Fineblit,2016 BCSC 566). The amount of the ICBC settlement cam also be a factor in determining whether large amounts of photocopying were reasonable.
2010 Administrative Notice 5 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules provided for a charge at that time of 25 cents per page for photocopying in relation to bills of costs under the standard tariff. This does not take into account increase for the consumer price index and 50 cents per page appears to be the current standard in some industries. The amount is only a guide and more or less may be allowed in any given circumstances. 30 cents per page for example was accepted in accepted in M & C v. Grewal,2015 BCSC 1726, para 59.
Posted by personal injury lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.
 

Tags: cost, Cost of Photocopying, Costs, disbursements, ICBC Settlement amounts, Monopoly of ICBC on car insurance, Rule 14-1(5) Disbursements

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