Formal offers to settle in personal injury cases, including ICBC, filed in the Supreme Court are regulated by the Supreme Court Rules. Rule 9-1 is very specific about what is considered an offer to settle. An “offer to settle” is an offer that: (i) is made in writing by a party to a proceeding, (ii) has been served on all parties of record, and (iii) contains the following sentence:
“The …………[party(ies)]…………, …………[name(s) of party(ies)]…………, reserve(s) the right to bring this offer to the attention of the court for consideration in relation to costs after the court has pronounced judgment on all other issues in this proceeding.”
The wording of your offer needs to be clear and unambiguous. Courts will generally refuse to enforce a settlement that is unclear, vague or ambiguous. A problem in ICBC cases can be making sure to include proper wording to deal with both the tort and Part VII claim.
Here is an example of a form of offer that has been accepted by the Supreme Court:
ICBC Defence Lawyers
Attention: ICBC Lawyer
Re: ICBC Claimant name
Doe v. Roe et al; S.C.B.C., Vancouver Registry No.
ICBC Claim No.: N7000-;
The Plaintiff offers to settle this action for $*, new money after deducting Part VII paid or payable, plus costs in accordance with Rule 14‐1.
The Plaintiff reserves the right to bring this offer to the attention of the Court for consideration in relation to costs after the court has rendered judgment on all other issues in this proceeding. In the event the Plaintiff obtains a judgment for the amount specified in the offer or a greater amount the Plaintiff will be seeking double costs from the date this offer was delivered.
All offers, oral or written, are deemed withdrawn at 4:00 pm on the day before the tort trial, unless otherwise stated.
Posted by ICBC Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.– serving only claimants against ICBC and other insurance companies.