In this three vehicle ICBC hit and run accident case ( Lort v. Kwan, 2011 BCSC 86) the injury claimant was asking for compensation for personal injuries suffered in an accident that occurred on West Broadway Street between Ash Street and Cambie Street in Vancouver.
The claimant was driving his Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on West Broadway when a vehicle in his right lane swerved left causing the vehicle in front to brake. As a result the claimant attempted to swerved to his right but hit into the back of the car in front causing serious injuries to his left ankle. The injured motorcycle claimant was taken by ambulance to the Vancouver General Hospital.
The claim against ICBC (the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) was made on the basis that the accident was caused by the negligence of a driver whose identity is not known. John Doe is the unidentified motorist implicated in the accident and the owner of this vehicle is also unknown. The other driver, whose identity was known, was found 40% at fault for driving erratically.
ICBC denies any responsibility and sought a dismissal of the claim on the basis that the claimant failed to comply with s. 24(5) Insurance (Vehicle) Act. The Judge found that this type of car accident is, ” not uncommon on a busy city street in the midst of construction and new traffic patterns. The lane readjustments were clear for all parties to see after they left the intersection of West Broadway and Ash Street. Although the accident was caused by the lack of care of all three drivers, I have concluded that the negligence of the UIM[unknown driver] and Ms. Kwan was primarily responsible for the fall of the plaintiff’s motorcycle and his injured ankle. I would assess their fault for the plaintiff’s fall at 40% each. The plaintiff is 20% at fault.”
The court also concluded that the injury claimant did not make any reasonable efforts to identify the unknown driver involved in the accident other than speaking to the police who attended the accident scene and later in the hospital. As a result the claima gainst ICBC was dismissed. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should injury claimants injured by hit and run drivers be entitled to automatic compensation from ICBC?