In this car accident offer to settle case(Codling v. Sosnowsky,2013 BCSC 1220) additional legal costs were awarded to the injury claimant after the judge awarded the claimant damages totaling $70,764.71 for injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident. Only 6 days before the scheduled trial the claimant had offered to settle the motor vehicle accident for $55,000.00.
This case was regulated by the Fast Track rules which limits the legal costs that can be awarded. The benefit in using the Fast Track Rules is that there are no juries permitted, discoveries are limited to 2 hours or less, and the process of the litigation is generally more streamlined. The sacrifice is that if a litigant beats a reasonable offer made there will be very little in the way of costs consequences, as appears to be the case here. The additional costs only amount to $3,000.00.
The claimant’s offer to settle her car accident case represented a reasonable effort to assess her possible recovery, according to the Supreme Court Judge. He went on to say,
It was one the defendant should have recognized as being within the range of possible awards and ought reasonably to have been accepted, particularly when weighed against the cost of going to trial. I recognize that liability was denied and the plaintiff’s offer made no apparent discount for risk on that issue, but this was a rear-end collision and the defendant had little prospect of success on liability or contributory negligence
When the Fast Track rules apply to a personal injury claim costs are $8,000 for a one day trial, $9,500 for a two day trial and $11,000 for trial lasting more than two days. It is therefore assumed that $1,500 represents the costs of each day of trial, including preparation. The claimant was entitled to double costs for a trial of two days or more, increasing the legal costs payable under Rule 15-1 (15) from $11,000 to $14,000.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.