Renn Holness, founding partner of Holness and Small Law Group, recorded his 2nd trial win against ICBC in just under 1 week for trials that took place in January 2021 and in April 2021.

In K. v. D.  2021 BCSC 1032, our 20 year-old client was injured in a motor vehicle accident when he was struck by the defendant who failed to stop at a 4-way stop.

At trial, ICBC argued that our client was at fault for the motor vehicle accident.

Our client testified that when he arrived at the intersection, he came to a full stop.  At that time, he saw the defendant’s car moving at regular speed towards the intersection.  As he expected her to stop at the stop sign, he proceeded forward.  He testified that the defendant then came into the intersection without stopping and collided with his vehicle.  Our client’s passenger testified and corroborated his version of how the collision occurred.

On the other hand, the defendant testified that she slowed down to stop at the stop sign when our client’s vehicle came to a stop.  She said that she then drove into the intersection and out of nowhere her car was struck by our client.  After the collision, our client and his passenger witness both testified that the defendant apologized and told them a couple of times that “the accident was all her fault”.

The trial judge did not accept the defendant’s version of how the accident happened.  First, it was noted that when the defendant spoke to ICBC on the evening of the motor vehicle accident, she described her stop as a rolling stop in contradiction to her evidence at trial when she stated she came to a full stop.  Second, the damage sustained to the vehicles was entirely inconsistent with how the defendant claimed the motor vehicle accident occurred.  In finding the defendant 100% at fault, the trial judge stated:

[14]         Photographs of the damaged cars were entered into evidence. The photographs show damage on the right front bumper of Ms. L.’s car, and damage on the left front corner of Mr. K.’s car. Ms. L. agreed that damage on the front of the bumper shown in one of the photographs occurred in the accident.

[15]         I cannot accept Ms. L.’s description of the accident. She stated she was almost through the intersection when the accident occurred. Therefore, if the accident had occurred as she stated, the damage to her car would be on the mid or back side of her car, not the front bumper. The only way the front of her bumper could get damaged would be if she hit Mr. K.s car, which was already in the intersection, with the front of her car. I also accept the evidence of Mr. K. and Mr. Oh describing how the accident occurred, including that Ms. L. stated to them after the accident that she was responsible.

[16]         I find that Mr. K. stopped at the stop sign on 164 Street and safely entered the intersection. At the time Mr. K. entered the intersection, Ms. L. had not yet come to the stop sign on 108 Ave. Ms. L. did not fully stop at the stop sign on 108 Ave. Ms. L.  entered the intersection when it was not safe to do so, as Mr. K.s car had already entered the intersection. Ms. L. struck the left front side of Mr. K.’s car with the front bumper of her car. Ms. L.’s car came to rest almost through the intersection. After the accident, Ms. L. left her car and accepted responsibility for hitting Mr. K.’s car.

Based on the medical and expert evidence presented at trial, the trial judge concluded that our client suffered soft tissue his injuries to his neck, low back and shoulders, together with associated headaches and sleep disturbances, in the motor vehicle accident.  The trial judge furthermore concluded that he will continue to experience pain related to his back and shoulder injuries, but that he will remain generally functional at work and in moderately strenuous activities. In addition, it was found that he will continue to suffer from occasional headaches and disturbed sleep. Taken together, the trial judge concluded that our client will be unable to participate in strenuous physical activities to the extent he did before the accident.

Damages were awarded to our client in the amount of $161,562.00:

  • $60,000.00 for pain and suffering
  • $29,200.00 for past wage loss
  • $68,000.00 for loss of future earning capacity
  • $2,640.00 for future care costs
  • $1,722.00 for special damages (reimbursement of out of pocket expenses)

Notably, our client offered to settle his claim with ICBC for less than the trial award several years ago and also just prior to trial which ICBC rejected.  Instead, ICBC offered 25% of the overall award completing dismissing and disregarding our client’s injuries.  Our client will now be entitled to double costs which acts as punishment for ICBC’s failure to accept our reasonable offers and wasting the court’s resources at trial.

This is yet another example of the wasted expenses and inefficient manner in which ICBC has been operating for many years.  Injured claimants are being unnecessarily forced to trial by ICBC to obtain justice and fairness. This could all have been avoided by ICBC if they had taken a fair and reasonable approaching to resolving this claim outside of court.

Instead of restructuring ICBC to eliminate the mismanagement and inefficient handling of claims such as this one, the NDP have given ICBC unfettered power and control over injured claimants and their claims through No Fault Insurance (Enhanced Care).  Compensation for pain and suffering and other significant items have been eliminated for all motor vehicle accidents occurring from May 1, 2021 onwards except in the most rarest of cases.  While the NDP have “lowered insurance premiums”, your rights and insurance coverage has been significantly reduced and eliminated in exchange.

If you have been in a motor vehicle accident occurring before May 1, 2021, call us for a free consultation to find out your options.

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