In a prior blog post, we discussed the current state of ICBC settlements in 2020. Specifically, we outlined ICBC’s settlement policy as encouraged by the NDP which refuses to provide reasonable settlements to injured claimants. When ICBC refuses to reasonably assess claims and to offer legitimate settlements, it unnecessarily forces cases to trial. This overburdens our courts creating chaos in our legal system. ICBC payouts for personal injury claims are generally lower than court awards.
When cases proceed to trial, the trial judges are required to follow the LAW when deciding on the amount of compensation an injured claimant deserves. ICBC’s low ball offers are inconsistent with the law. This is why ICBC has been continuously losing at trial in 2020.
There are a number of notable 2020 trial awards for pain and suffering (non-pecuniary damages) where the injured claimants were successful and exceeded ICBC’s low ball offers:
In Andreas v. Vu 2020 BCSC 1144, the trial judge awarded $80,000.00 for pain and suffering for chronic soft tissue injuries to the neck, shoulders and back, as well as headaches and an aggravation of pre-existing depression. ICBC argued at trial for an award of $60,000.00.
In Cox v. Acapulco 2020 BCSC 1135, the trial judge awarded $75,000.00 for pain and suffering for chronic soft tissue injuries to the neck and back, as well as myofascial pain syndrome and headaches. ICBC argued at trial for an award of between $30,000.00 to $40,000.00.
In Radacina v. Aquino 2020 BCSC 1143, the trial judge awarded $200,000.00 for pain and suffering for chronic neck, upper back and shoulder pain, as well as significant psychological injuries including post-traumatic stress disorder. ICBC argued at trial for an award of between #70,000.00 to $100,000.00.
Another example of ICBC’s unreasonable settlement policy is found in Elliot v. McCliggot 2020 BCSC 1128. In this case, the injured claimant made a settlement offer to ICBC in the amount of $99.999. ICBC rejected the offer and the claim went to trial. At trial, the injured claimant was awarded $463,385.54. As punishment for ICBC’s failure to accept this reasonable offer, the trial judge awarded the injured claimant double costs against ICBC because the claim was forced to trial unnecessarily. This case is a perfect illustration of the mismanagement of ICBC payouts which has caused the financial disaster. If ICBC had paid out the injured claimant’s settlement offer, it would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As British Columbians, we deserve better. ICBC is not fixable. What we need is choice instead of being forced to purchase our auto insurance from a provincial insurance monopoly which is mismanaged and ineffectual. Private insurance companies will offer up competition and it is clearly the best way to go moving forward and as far away from ICBC as possible…