The lawsuit after a car accident injury usually includes a very general claim for losses such as “injury, loss and damage”. However, the insurance company lawyer can demand more details, what is referred to as “particulars” of your injuries and losses claimed.

In today’s article we address whether it is necessary to give ICBC a list of all the out of pocket expenses claimed in a personal injury lawsuit. In short, if demanded, you must provide details of your out of pocket claims or risk having the judge refuse compensation.

In our case reviewed, Bakhtiari v. British Columbia (Minister of Justice),2017 BCSC 708,  the claimant did provide a list of the estimated values  approximating a claim of $400,000.

The Supreme Court Rules 3‑7(22), (23) and Rule 7-2(18) of the Supreme Court Civil Rules provide:

Rule 3-7  Order for particulars

(22)  The court may order a party to serve further and better particulars of a matter stated in a pleading.

Demand for particulars

(23)  Before applying to the court for particulars, a party must demand them in writing from the other party.

Rule 7-2 Scope of examination

(18)  Unless the court otherwise orders, a person being examined for discovery (a)  must answer any question within his or her knowledge or means of knowledge regarding any matter, not privileged, relating to a matter in question in the action, and

To comply with Rule 7-2 (18), a person being examined for discovery may be required to inform himself or herself and the examination may be adjourned for that purpose: see Rule 7-2(22). As The Honourable Mr. Justice Greyell stated,

[23]  The purpose of particulars is well understood and is a necessary procedural process if this court is to administer justice in accordance with the mandate set out in the rules to clarify and simplify its processes and reduce, to the extent possible, without prejudicing either party, the length and complexity of cases brought before the court: see Yewdale v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, [1994] B.C.J. No. 1892 (B.C.S.C.), at paragraph 43, and the principles set out in Cansulex Ltd. v. Perry, [1982] B.C.J. No. 369 (B.C.C.A.), at paragraph 46 — I am sorry, that is quoted at paragraph 43 through 46 in Yewdale, where Mr. Justice Lambert at page 10 of Cansulex set out the function of particulars as being:

(1)  to inform the other side of the nature of the case they have to meet as distinguished from the mode in which that case is to be proved;

(2)  to prevent the other side from being taken by surprise at the trial;

(3)  to enable the other side to know what evidence they ought to be prepared with and to prepare for trial

(4)  to limit the generality of the pleadings;

(5)  to limit and decide the issues to be tried, and as to which discovery is required, and

(6)  to tie the hands of the party so that he cannot without leave go into any matters not included.

[24]        Particulars as to special damages are required…

But when any special damage is claimed, without sufficient detail, particulars will be ordered of the alleged damage…

The authorities stand for the principle that special damages ( out of pocket expenses) must be explicitly claimed and proved and that particulars of the nature of the damage and amount of loss claimed must be provided to the ICBC lawyer.

The judge therefore ordered that within 14 days the claimant provide further and better particulars of the claim for special damages, including a quantification of such damages in respect of each item of which they say they have incurred loss. The claimant also had to provide particulars with respect to who owns each item of asset, the percentage of any such ownership, and whether such asset is leased.

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

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