In this ICBC denied hit and run accident claim(Burton v. Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, 2011 BCSC 653) the injury claimant sued the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (“ICBC”), under section 24 of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 231, as it then was, as a nominal defendant, arising out of a hit and run accident that occurred in Duncan, British Columbia. The claimant had stopped at a stop sign waiting to turn right and join southbound traffic on the Trans Canada Highway when an unidentified vehicle hit his vehicle from behind and fled the scene of the car accident.
At issue was whether the injury claimant made all reasonable efforts to ascertain the identity of the unknown owner and driver and whether the identity of such persons was not ascertainable. Also at issue was the amount of compensation that should be awarded to the claimant for the personal injury.
The judge stated at para 31, ” I am persuaded that the fear and anxiety that Mrs. Burton[injury claimant] felt in the circumstances provides a reasonable justification for her failure to ask the driver to properly identify himself or to attempt to identify the license plate. As a woman alone in a car at night, faced with aggressive threatening behaviour, her first concern was legitimately for her safety and to avoid confronting the driver.”
The lawyer for ICBC did not rely on any authorities but submitted that the claimant was fully recovered within a few months of the accident and should be awarded less than $5,000.The Judge disagreed and went on to award compensation for personal injuries in the amount of$35,000.00 for pain and suffering; $6,500 for loss of income; and a further $500 to cover the anticipated cost of massage therapy treatments. Take a read of my article on another winning hit and run case against ICBC. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue: Should ICBC hit and run accident law require the injury claimant to take reasonable steps to identify the hit and run driver?