Assessing fault after a car accident involves applying the common law duties of care. This personal injury lawsuit concerned the determination of liability for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Fraser Street and East 12th Avenue in Vancouver (Boyd v. Baldwin,2015 BCSC 887).The claimant was a front seat passenger in a vehicle travelling northbound on Fraser Street when it turned left at East 12th Avenue causing the car accident.
The driver of the claimant vehicle said he turned left only after the light for traffic travelling north and south on Fraser Street switched to red. The other driver drive that was going straight disagreed. The judge stated the law in this way:
 In determining whether, and to what extent, parties to an accident met their common law duties of care, a court will be informed by the rules of the road. While the rules of the road provide guidelines for assessing fault in motor vehicle accident cases, they do not, standing alone, provide a complete legal framework. As noted inSalaam v. Abramovic, 2010 BCCA 212 at para. 21, “[t]his is both because the rules of the road cannot comprehensively cover all possible scenarios, and because users of the road are expected to exercise reasonable care, even when others have failed to respect their right of way”.
The judge found the claimants left turn driver 100% at fault. On the whole of his evidence, the court was satisfied the other driver knew the light was green as he traveled toward the intersection and the light turned yellow when he entered the pedestrian crosswalk. The left hand turner should have waited until the driver going straight had passed.
Posted by Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness, B.A. LL.B.
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