Have you had a traffic accident while you were riding your bicycle?

What to do if you are involved in a cycling accident.

bicycle on snow covered street

Photo by Dave Haas on Pexels.com

by Ryan Kusuhara

If you are struck by a car as a cyclist, ICBC may attempt to allocate some blame (liability) to you for not following the rules of the road. As a cyclist, you have a duty to obey and comply with the Motor Vehicle Act of BC. The Motor Vehicle Act stipulates that you must always wear a helmet while you are on the road. You must also ride in the designated bicycle lane. Finally, you cannot ride your bicycle against the lane of traffic, even if there is no designated bicycle lane. ICBC may hold you partially liable for the accident, even though you are otherwise not at fault if you fail to observe some of these rules of the road.

The Courts on the other hand generally say that you cannot be held responsible for the accident so long as your breach did not contribute to the accident from happening. Courts say that if you failed to observe the rules of the road, you have a greater duty of care to those around you, but that does not necessarily mean that you are responsible for the accident. A duty of care in this context means paying attention to your surroundings, road conditions and communicating with others on the road so that you ensure the safety of yourself and others.

If you have been involved in a car accident as a cyclist, and would like to have any other questions about an ICBC claim and your right to compensation email Ryan Kusuhara at rkusuhara@panlegal.ca or call me at 604.372.4550.

Visit my website at https://panlegal.ca

 

 

What Will You Pay In Premiums When You Renew Your Auto Insurance With ICBC?

by Peter Buxton, trial lawyer

Susan Luzaruk of the Vancouver Sun reports that ICBC really doesn’t know what you’re going to pay after September 1 of this year.

That is because ICBC is still figuring out what individual drivers will pay under a new system that more heavily penalizes those who caused accidents.

The rates will also be determined by other drivers living in the same household as the primary driver — or employees who work for the same company — and that won’t be calculated until drivers arrive at their insurance broker’s office with a list of drivers, their licence numbers and dates of birth.

Also beginning Sept. 1, optional insurance premiums will be affected by two minor convictions, such as failing to stop or yield or speeding, or one major conviction, impaired driving, distracted driving or excessive speeding.

“The whole system’s changing,” said Andrew Janzen, owner of Janzen Insurance in South Surrey and a board member of the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C. “We now have to I.D. all the drivers. … The rates are going up and the system will be slower.

“It will be an adjustment because it’s totally different than the way we’ve done it for the past 40 years,” he said. “So notices to renew are going out and they won’t have a premium on it, and that’s going to be weird for some people.”

Whether or not, as ICBC promises, most drivers will eventually pay cheaper premiums remains to be seen. That’s because the largest factor driving up costs is the number and size of claims to fix vehicles and settle lawsuits.

“Until the dust settles, you can’t really say,” Janzen said. “Will bad drivers (facing higher premiums) still be driving or will they be taking the bus?”

If you have suffered a loss on account of any accident-related matter and would like to have a free initial consultation regarding your claim and your right to compensation email me at pbuxton@panlegal.ca or call me at 604.372.4550.

Visit my website at https://panlegal.ca/peter-buxton-qc

JURY TRIALS AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES?

The Jury by John Morgan, painted in 1861.

By Peter Buxton, trial lawyer

Will BC follow Ontario‘s example and eliminate jury trials in favour of a simplified process for trials where damages are $100,000 or less?

Mick Hassell, trial counsel in Ontario, writes on his LinkedIn post that:

The reality is that a majority of personal injury claims probably belong in the simplified procedure.

It is anticipated that the use of summary trials will become common for personal injury trials. For plaintiff trial counsel, rather than calling the plaintiff, family and friends, treating experts and rule 53 experts, much of the direct examinations will likely be through affidavits. It may be tricky to get affidavits from some treating experts who may require a summons to testify live. Rule 53 experts will simply attach their reports, C.V. and acknowledgment of expert’s duty to a generic affidavit.

Affidavits, together with the imposition of time limits on direct examination of key witnesses and cross-examinations may really streamline trials. 2-3 week long Jury trials can be condensed into 1 week or less.

Is this a process that might be of benefit to both plaintiff and defence law firms dealing with personal injury litigation in British Columbia? Many lawyers in BC will be watching the Ontario model.

If you have suffered a loss on account of any accident-related matter and would like to have a free initial consultation regarding your claim and your right to compensation email me at pbuxton@panlegal.ca or call me at 604.372.4550.

Visit my website at https://panlegal.ca/peter-buxton-qc

Does My Doctor Have to Give ICBC My Medical File?

by Peter Buxton, trial lawyer

pexels-photo-1919236If you have an ICBC claim for injuries arising from a car accident either before or after April 1, 2019, ICBC may try to get your doctor or health care professional to give them your whole medical record. You are not required to provide irrelevant and confidential records to ICBC.

Section 98 of the Regulations of the Insurance (Vehicle)Act provides that (1) An insured shall, on request of the corporation, promptly furnish a certificate or report of an attending medical practitioner, dentist, physiotherapist or chiropractor as to the nature and extent of the insured’s injury, and the treatment, current condition and prognosis of the injury. It does not say that ICBC adjusters can just go out and demand this information directly from your healthcare professionals they must ask you to “furnish” it or authorize its release by your doctor, but only in prescribed forms.

Adjusters have very limited rights to get your records. These rights are set out in Section 28 and Section 28.1 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act.  By law ICBC can ask your health professional to provide “a report of the injuries and their diagnosis and treatment and prognosis, in any form or manner established by the corporation”, but not your medical or clinical file.  Only you can authorize the release of your medical file to ICBC. This is done by providing your doctor with written authorization.  Likewise, you can advise your medical professional not to share your whole medical file.

If you have concerns about your personal medical history, and confidential information that you have discussed with your doctor getting into the hands of ICBC or, if you have suffered a loss on account of an accident-related matter and would like to have a free initial consultation regarding your claim and your right to compensation, email me at pbuxton@panlegal.ca or call me at 604.372.4550.

Visit my website at https://panlegal.ca/peter-buxton-qc