This car accident personal injury claimant was awarded the cost of a private MRI as a reasonable disbursement (Gray v. Kohnert,2014 BCSC 888). This is great news for BC injury claimants but does have a few personal injury lawyers scratching their heads. Just weeks before this decision the Court refused the costs of a private MRI. It appears that legislative change or a decision from our Court of Appeal will be necessary.
It is worth however reiterating the very basic test for recovery of disbursements in a personal injury cases, which after 30 years is still good law:

The proper test, it seems to me, from a number of authorities referred to us this morning is whether at the time the disbursement or expense was incurred it was a proper disbursement in the sense of not being extravagant, negligent, mistaken or a result of excessive caution or excessive zeal, judged by the situation at the time when the disbursement or expense was incurred. (Van Daele v. Van Daele, (1983)56 B.C.L.R. 178,British Columbia Court of Appeal; March 02, 1983)

 In Jaid v. Chavez, 2013 BCSC 2329 at paragraph 35 Registrar Sainty asks, “Was the cost of it reasonable?  In awarding the costs of the private MRI she stated, 

[38] I was not given any particular evidence as to how long it might have taken for the plaintiff to have undergone an MRI through the “public” as opposed to the “private” healthcare system in this province; however, I believe that I can confirm that, generally speaking, obtaining an MRI through the public system takes an absolute bare minimum of three to six months, to a maximum of 12 to 18 months.

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.

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