In this ICBC offers to settle fault case ( Currie v. Taylor,2013 BCSC 1071), the claimant suffered catastrophic injuries that dramatically changed his life after a car accident. The claimant was driving a yellow and white taxi en route to the City of Vernon when he attempted to turn left onto Highway 97 at the intersection with Meadowlark Road when a van going straight hit into the taxi causing an enormous amount of damage to both vehicles.
At trial the claimant was found to be 75% liable for the accident and the defendants 25% liable. ICBC had offered to settle the liability claim on the basis that the claimant was 59% liable for the accident and the defendant was 41% liable. Clearly, the ICBC offer to settle substantially exceeded the claimant’s judgment in the action. Although ICBCs’ settlement proposal would likely have resulted in a reduction in the claimant’s damages of several hundred thousand dollars, his failure to accept the settlement made the loss even worse.
ICBC argued that their success significantly exceeded their pre-trial offer and it would have been reasonable for the claimant to have accepted that proposal. ICBC wanted the court to award then all their costs after the date of their offer to settle, which would have been substantial.
The Court, in making its decision recognized that there is a significant disparity between the financial resources of ICBC and that of the claimant who has very limited means. The court was also satisfied that the claimant was reasonable in his expectation that the he could beat ICBc’s settlement offer and the ultimate decision on liability could have exceeded 41%. In denying ICBC’s request for costs the Judge stated,
 I will not order the plaintiff to pay the defendants’ costs after the delivery of their offer to settle. I have accepted the plaintiff’s arguments: there was a reasonable explanation for the plaintiff’s failure to accept the offer, the magnitude of the plaintiff’s claim is substantial, and there is a substantial discrepancy in the resources of the parties.
The claimant was awarded 25% of his costs and ICBC was awarded no costs. Watch my short video and learn more about settling with ICBC.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.