To settle with ICBC, the corporation must negotiate in good faith. ICBC’s recent withdrawal of settlement offers has therefore drawn criticism from many groups and now the Supreme Court.
The Car Accident
Our featured car accident case was a short personal injury trial in January, 2019. The claimant was driving through the intersection of Sperling Avenue and Lougheed Avenue in Burnaby. The defendant struck her car. The result was that the front airbag of the defendant’s car deployed. The vehicles were a total loss.
ICBC approved payments for 20 therapy sessions, which would be enough for full recovery, the family doctor believed. Unfortunately, that recovery did not happen.
The result was an award of $68,000 for pain and suffering, $5,080 for cost of future care, and $6,729.49 out of pocket expenses.
Offer to Settle With ICBC
Before trial, the claimant made a lower offer to settle with ICBC for $63,000. This offer therefore ought to have accepted according to the judge. ICBC was aware of the extent of the claimants injuries paying $9,191.07 in Part 7 benefits. In the event ICBC seeks a post-trial a deduction the judge specify awarded that amount. As the Supreme Court made clear, correcting the decision:
“ This is the type of case that was ripe for settlement…I was informed the defendant[ICBC] had made a settlement offer, but withdrew it for “institutional” reasons… This case did not need to occupy the court’s time at the expense to the taxpayer. It should have been settled. ” this was later changed to:
“ This is the type of case that was ripe for settlement, as demonstrated by the small difference between the plaintiff’s offer and the award made. Were it in my power to award more in costs in favour of the plaintiff I would have done so. This case did not need to occupy the court’s time at the expense to the taxpayer. It should have been settled.” (Tsai v. Murdoch,
2019 BCSC 179 )
The ICBC policy punishes return to work and offends against the law. ICBC policy discriminates against homemakers, retired and the unemployed.
Ignore policies that offend against the law when deciding whether to settle with ICBC. The common law applies to any settlement or offer to settle with ICBC occurring before April 1, 2019 .