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ICBC Advance Money – Surrey Personal Injury

ICBC Advance Money – Surrey Personal Injury Lawyer Explains – Contact us now or call us at 604-576-5400 or toll free at 1.877.602.9900.

Given the nature of Personal Injury litigation it is common that ICBC Trial Management Conferences may lead to adjournment where the time allocated for trial is found to be unrealistic. The Kelowna, Fort St John, Vancouver and Surrey ICBC lawyers at MacLean Personal Injury understand this kind of delay can place great financial hardship on our clients and their families. When bringing your claim before the court we want to ensure that your injuries have stabilized and that we have an accurate knowledge of your current and ongoing injuries in order to obtain the highest possible personal injury settlement on your behalf. A balance must be struck between proceeding to trial promptly and ensuring that all the facts are before the court to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. The recent Van Gils v. Grandmaison Court decision below emphasizes that an Order for advance payments should only be made in special circumstances.

[5] It is common ground that the governing the authority is the decision of Mr. Justice Macfarlane in Serban v. Casselman (1995), 2 B.C.L.R. (3d) 316 (C.A.) leave to appeal ref’d [1995] S.C.C.A. No. 120.

[6] The often-cited passage is at para. 11:

While such orders are often made when the adjournment was brought about through the fault of one party or where the conduct of the litigation demands such an order, the rule is not restricted to matters of that kind. It is obvious that an order for advance payments should only be made in special circumstances. Obviously such an order should not be made unless the judge who makes it is completely satisfied that there is no possibility that the assessment will be less than the amount of the advance payments.

[7] I think that the current situation meets the requirement of “special circumstances”. This trial was adjourned at the direction of the Court, pursuant to the Supreme Court Civil Rules, because it would exceed the original estimate and the trial schedule could not absorb that excess.

[8] Based on the material that I had at the trial management conference, I would not have been able to attribute any lack of care or diligence to either counsel for the increase in trial length since it was originally set. Mr. Van Gils’ counsel advised that he had set it for eight days in the specific anticipation that, if his estimate were to be exceeded slightly, the schedule can usually still accommodate a trial of up to ten days.

[9] When the estimate grew to potentially exceed that upper limit, he was still engaged in pruning his witness list when the defendants concluded that it was appropriate to add further witnesses. Neither approach is unusual in the course of trial preparation and neither is deserving of criticism.

[10] The penalty for an incorrect estimate is an extremely serious one: a court-compelled adjournment at the trial management conference if the schedule cannot accommodate the new time estimate.

[11] While this might be an appropriate deterrent for counsel who give their original estimates carelessly or who grossly underestimate the time required, it falls harshly on litigants and counsel whose original estimate was not unreasonable and whose requirement for additional time is based on changing circumstances as the trial grows closer.

As you can see, in cases where liability is not contested and the time allocated for trial is clearly insufficient it is possible for the court to order advanced payment.

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