This personal injury claimant proceeded to trial without a lawyer and his claim was dismissed. ICBC had offered $1.00 to the claimant to settle the case before trial and after the claim was dismissed ICBC sought double costs for the claimant’s failure to accept the offer.
This ICBC personal injury case involved a collision on Westside Road in West Kelowna. The claimant had little or no memory of the accident and there were no witnesses to the accident except the two men involved.
After firing his previous lawyer the claimant told the court that he “reviewed his case” again and made an informed decision with respect to the ICBC offer to settle, choosing not to accept it.
The ICBC claim of double costs as a result of the claimant not accepting the offer of $1.00 was dismissed but ICBC was awarded regular costs against the claimants, which will be substantial. In dismissing ICBC’s request for double costs the judge pointed out:
 The Offer was made long before most of the developments in the case occurred, and could be construed as a nuisance offer that did nothing to encourage dialogue between the parties, particularly because the defendant ICBC is not of limited means as described in MacKinlay at para. 34. This points to the conclusion that the Offer was not one that Mr. B. should reasonably have accepted.(Bellinger v. Jones,2018 BCSC 894)
The claimant felt that he had a right to his day in court. The judge however said this “overlooks the consequences of forcing the opposing party to commit significant time and expense defending an unmeritorious claim, and undermines the importance of carefully deploying limited court resources. Of course a litigant has the “right” to proceed to trial, but if they choose to do so, they must accept the inherent risks associated with this course of action including the possibility of a costs award.”
Read more about offers to settle for $1.00.
Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.