Driver and passenger were both drunk returning from an alcohol fueled weekend in the Okanagan. Four friends from the Lower Mainland were all drinking in the car when the injury claimant, the front seat passenger, began gyrating wildly to loud music which resulted in her hitting the steering wheel. The speeding vehicle swerved into a ditch causing the vehicle to flip with the claimant suffering serious personal injuries.(Telford v. Hogan, 2014 BCSC 1925)
The intoxication of the driver was also found to be a significant contributing cause of the bodily harm suffered by the claimant passenger. ICBC however referred to a number of cases where passengers have grabbed the steering wheel and interfered with the operation of the vehicle and were to found to be totally at fault.
The Judge found that the driver was more responsibility however for the accident than the injury claimant. There was the appalling lack of judgment in drinking alcohol during the drive home; speeding on the highway; and failing to calm the passenger down or re-position her to the back seat when she saw that the claimant was acting so erratically. Liability was apportioned 75% to the driver and 25% to injury claimant.
The injury claimant was also found to be negligent for drinking alcohol to the point of being severely intoxicated and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure her ongoing ability to assess her safety over the course of the trip home. The claimant was aware that the driver was drinking over the course of the day and she had particular knowledge of the quantity of what the driver consumed as the majority of it came from her own drink container. The judge assessed the claimant’s contributory negligence to be 35%.
Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.
Jacqueline Small is diligent, professional, and compassionate. She went above and beyond when I was injured in a motor vehicle accident. Anytime I had questions she would respond quickly and always seemed to be one step ahead. I called several accident law firms and none were as knowledgeable and sincere as Jacqueline. Highly recommended!
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Over a period of 4 years Jacqueline Small guided me throughout the entirety of my personal injury claim after a motor vehicle accident left me with chronic pain. My experience was pleasant, professional, thorough, and communication was always open. I was treated with care like a person and not just a case. Jacqueline was with me every step of the way until we reached a settlement with the insurance company. 10/10 I would recommend to any friends or family.