July 28th, 2011
Personal injury summary trial
In this Vancouver car crash injury claim (Olianka v. Spagnol,2011 BCSC 1013) the ICBC injury claimant was seeking compensation resulting from injuries he suffered when the car he was driving was hit from behind at the intersection of King Edward Avenue and Valley Drive in Vancouver. The other driver admited fault for the car accident and the purpose of this summary trial was to determine the quantum of damages i.e. the level of compensation.
What is a summary trial? A summary trial allows an injury claimant to present their case, without having to attend a trial in person in front of a judge or jury. The personal injury lawyer representing the claimant presents the case including the evidence, argument and supporting law. Unless the court otherwise orders, on a summary trial application under Rule 9-7, the injury claimant can rely on evidence in the following ways:
(b) an answer, or part of an answer, to interrogatories;
(c) any part of the evidence taken on an examination for discovery;
(d) an admission under Rule 7-7;
(e) a report setting out the opinion of an expert, if
(i) the report conforms with Rule 11-6 (1), or
(ii) the court orders that the report is admissible even though it does not conform with Rule 11-6 (1).
The injury claimant in this case suffered a moderate soft tissue injury to the neck, a moderate soft tissue injury to the mid-back and a Read the rest of this entry »
July 26th, 2011
Vancouver Bike Lane Pedestrian Injuries Unknown
A City of Vancouver report released July 20, 2011 found that the total number of collisions reported to ICBC on Dunsmuir Street is down since the introduction of the bike lanes. According to the report, “The Five years 2005-2009 saw between 144 and 193 collisions per year and an average of 164 per year. During the 9 months following the installation of separated bike lanes on Dunsmuir Street, the number of collisions is reduced when compared to the 5-year average of same 9-month period of previous years. July 2010-March 2011 saw only 98 collisions, down 18% from the 119 average from the previous July-March periods (2005-2010). ICBC-reported collisions involving bicycles are infrequent events. To date, there is insufficient collision data to be able this element of overall cycling safety related to the separated bike lanes.”
These statistics do not address the rate of personal injury and whether the bike lanes have led to a reduction in bicycle accident related injuries. The reduction in collisions may simply be due to less vehicular traffic as drivers avoid roads with bike lanes.
In the concurrant Vancouver Separated Bike Lane Business Impact Study, released July 20 2011, pedestrian safety was cited as one factors that 15% of pedstrains said they shopped less often on Hornby and Dunsmuir Streets. Pedestrians now have to be aware of two way bike lane traffic as well as parking vehicle traffic and automobiles on the road.
If there is an increase in bicycle on pedestrian personal injuries there will be a serious issue of insurance coverage. Currently ICBC does not provide third party liability coverage for bicycles, electric bikes, or motor-assisted cycles. Which means, unless an at fault cyclist is covered under homeowner’s insurance, the injured pedestrian will be left with an uninsured claim. Conversely, an at fault pedestrian will not be insured if they injury a person operating a bicycle, electric bike, or motor-assisted cycle. This does not relate to ICBC accident benefits which are completely different. Take a read of my article on how to get ICBC no-fault accident benefits.
This would be a good time for ICBC and BC legislators to start considering changing the law to allow cyclists access to optional third party insurance coverage. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should ICBC offer third party liability coverage to cyclists?
July 21st, 2011
In a dramatic personal injury decision (Lutley v. Southern,2011 BCCA 299)the BC Court of Appeal overturned a judge’s finding that the injury claimant was only 40% at fault and found her 85% at fault. Take a read of my review of the trial judge’s decision in this flashing green light car accident case.
The Court of Appeal found that the trial judge was wrong when he found as a fact the other driver (the appellant) left the stop sign and started to cross Oak Street when the light was flashing green for traffic on Oak Street and was also wrong when he found the appellant negligent for leaving the stop sign and failing to keep a proper lookout as she crossed Oak Street.
Surprisingly Judge Donald of the BC Court of Appeal found that it really did not matter what colour the light was when the drivers entered the intersection. As he points out, Read the rest of this entry »
July 19th, 2011
Help!-Top checklist for ICBC personal injury claims
When you are injured in a car accident in British Columbia usually the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) will have to be notified. However before you, a friend, or family member contact ICBC there are three important tasks on your checklist that can be completed to give you the best opportunity to obtain accident injury benefits and the best injury compensation.
- First, Before calling ICBC dial-a-Claim make sure you have the particulars- your ID, date of the car accident, location of the accident, the name, address, telephone number, driver’s licence number, and licence plate number of the other driver. If you are not physically or emotionally able to call ICBC get someone to call on your behalf. If you are the friend or family member of a disabled car accident claimant call ICBC on their behalf if the injury claimant is unable to do so.
- Second,seek medical attention immediately- Waiting times for specialized medical services after a car accident injury can take weeks or months in British Columbia. Ensure whether you are in Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver or anywhere in BC that you set an appointment to see your family doctor about your car accident injury as soon as possible. If you do not have a family doctor call the College of Physicians to get the name of a family doctor that will treat your accident injuries. If you or a family member is in hospital for urgent care due to accident injuries call a personal injury lawyer immediately so that you have someone competent to deal with the injury claim while you or your family member can focus on recovery.
- Third, secure the evidence as ICBC may change their decision on fault- Make sure you obtain witness names and contact information, police file number, photos of the vehicles, any engineering reports, diagrams, drawings, measurements, time estimates and the like. This of course is not an exhaustive list but as I have pointed out before good evidence is the best tool for any top personal injury lawyer.
Calling a personal injury lawyer is probably the smartest thing you can do. I have been a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver representing people all over BC since 1995 and all the lawyers in my personal injury law firm will give you a free consultation- no charge. Every personal injury lawyer in BC is entitled to decide whether to provide a free consultation to help you decide whether to hire a lawyer. Watch out my video on reporting toICBC dial-a-claim.
Posted byMr. Renn Holness