What is an Examination for Discovery and can I be forced to attend one?

If you bring an action in the Supreme Court of British Columbia you must make yourself available for an examination for discovery (an “XFD”). An XFD is an oral examination under oath. Furthermore, a written record is made of everything you say at an XFD. This means that anything you say can be used against you in later proceedings, which can lead to serious liability issues. For example, if you say one thing at an XFD and then say another thing at a trial, the judge can use this against you to make negative inferences about your credibility as a whole.

The procedure of an XFD in an ICBC case usually involves a lawyer from ICBC spending 2 or more (it can be a lot longer for catastrophic injuries) asking the plaintiff questions. A wide variety of subjects are fair game when making a claim for personal injury. This can include questions about your medical history and personal life.

There are, however, limitations to what can be discussed at an examination for discovery. For example irrelevant and privileged questions are not fair game. A competent lawyer will be able to advise you on what your should and should not be answering. They will also be able to attend the XFD with you and stop the other lawyer from asking inappropriate questions. The lawyer for the other party will be sitting across the table from you asking many questions, and they may not be nice about it.

The above shows how important it is to get proper legal advice before an XFD. A lawyer will, unfortunately, not be able to help you answer any questions at an XFD. They can, however, give you advice and properly prepare you beforehand. An XFD is often a key point in a personal injury lawsuit. It is an opportunity for the opposing parties to meat each other and determine the strength of their case as a whole. This is especially important for personal injury cases, which often hinge on the credibility of the plaintiff, as many injuries, such as soft-tissue injuries, cannot always be objectively observed.


ICBC Announces their Most Bizarre Insurance Scams of 2014


The temptation to scam an insurance corporation can be strong, as the potential payout can be large. Keep in mind that fraud is not only illegal, but it also has strong consequences in the insurance and legal world. It can be a reason for an insurance company to breach your insurance, which could leave you not only in the dire situation of being uninsured but also responsible for court costs and legal expenses of the other side and ICBC themselves. You might also end up getting prosecuted criminally or fined.

The above noted article from CBC is written in a bit of a sensationalist tone. It equates people trying to change their insurance coverage after the fact to time travel. That being said, it does highlight the extent that insurance companies are willing to go to catch a fraudster. The are using social media and cell phone records as well as DNA evidence. Insurance companies have deep pockets, and to create deterrents, they are often willing to spend far more catching a fraudster than they can recover.

At the end of the day, however, it’s the insurance payer who is also responsible for paying for fraud. ICBC is funded by your payments, which means the honest premium payer pays many of the expenses investigating fraudulent claims and their payouts.

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