In my experience representing injured clients over the last three decades, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to count on injured Plaintiffs being forced into accepting cheap settlements because they are unable to afford the long wait for their trial date.
When I first began practicing law in 1984, it was not uncommon for Plaintiffs and their personal injury lawyer to get all the way to the Courthouse on the day of their trial only to be informed by the Registry that they were being ‘bumped’ – there was no judge available and that their trial date had to be re-booked. With the trial-booking backlog at that time, this meant that the Plaintiff typically waited another eighteen months before getting their day in Court. This played into the hands of the insurance companies.
Getting your trial bumped happens less now
Today it’s much less common to get ‘bumped’. This problem has been improved by the Government of British Columbia appointing more judges. Since insurance companies can no longer expect that the Plaintiff’s case might be ‘bumped’, they have come up with many other ways of getting the trial date adjourned on the eve of trial. So, Plaintiffs are still being forced into to accept cheap settlements by insurance companies that don’t play fair. However, there is a remedy that can be applied in many circumstances – injured Plaintiffs can level the playing field by asking the Court to order the insurance company to pay an advance.
This is exactly what happened in the recent case of Wood Atkinson v. Murphy. The Plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident in August 2006 and suffered a wrist injury. On behalf of the Defendant, the lawyer appointed by ICBC admitted liability for the accident. When the trial had to be adjourned, the Court ordered the insurance company, ICBC, to pay the injured Plaintiff an advance of $50,000.00.
Our law firm can help you with your insurance claim
If you are an injured Plaintiff, the insurance company representing the Defendant has admitted liability for your injuries, and your trial date has been adjourned, ask the Court for an advance and don’t accept a cheap settlement. Call us at Tim Louis & Company Law for more information at (604) 732-7678.