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Surrey ICBC Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawyers

Have you or someone you know been injured in a Surrey ICBC motorcycle accident? Our top Surrey ICBC Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawyers can help you get the maximum compensation you deserve.

MacLean Personal Injury offers focused and aggressive help from our ICBC injury lawyer to make sure you get the most money you are entitled to.

Call us now at 604-576-5400. You can also call us at any of our 4 offices across BC including Surrey, Vancouver, Kelowna and Fort St John at 1.877.602.9900 or click here to get a FREE appointment to discuss your case.

Since riding a motorcycle can involve certain risks, Should Motorcyclists Be Blamed For Causing Their Own Injuries? Generally speaking, the answer is no. If you were injured in motorcycle accident through no fault of your own, our Surrey ICBC Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawyers explain that you deserve to be compensated for the injuries you received.

Sometimes Surrey and BC Motorcycle accidents occur because people in cars and trucks find motorcyclists difficult to see. Accidents involving motorcyclists can also result in very serious personal injuries to the driver of the motorcycle. Frequently this is due to the limited protection offered by a motorcycle in comparison to other motor vehicles. But none of this means that motorcyclists should not be compensated for their injuries.

Motorcyclists have the exact same right to use and enjoy roads and highways without being injured as anybody else. In fact, not only are motorists and highway operators required to respect and watch for motorcyclists on the road, highway operators and construction crews have a special duty to anticipate hazards that can cause unique problems for people on motorcycles.

Our Surrey ICBC Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Lawyers would like to outline a recent decision stemming from the Court of Appeal in British Columbia called Van Tent v. Abbotsford (City). This case is a great example of how motorcycle accidents are approached by the courts as well as how they apportion liability. (Apportioning liability has to do with how “fault” is split between the parties and, based on that split, how much money is awarded.)

The facts of the case are as follows:

[1] On a sunny, July 3, 2005, the respondent, Mr. Van Tent… was riding his motorcycle through a construction zone on the Trans Canada Highway. He shoulder checked to his left, and in doing so drifted over the white fog line to his right. He was unaware of a two-inch drop-off associated with construction at the edge of the pavement. He was thrown from his motorcycle as the wheel crossed the drop-off.

[2] …The trial judge found the appellants, the City of Abbotsford and 456355 dba Jake’s Contracting, liable in negligence for failing to adequately mark the uneven pavement. She found as well that Mr. Van Tent’s conduct contributed to his own injuries. She apportioned liability 20% against Mr. Van Tent.

[meaning that Mr. Van Tent was found to be 20% responsible for cause of the accident]

[3] [the City of Abbotsford and the construction company’s] position on appeal is that the trial judge erred by concluding that they owed Mr. Van Tent a duty of care.

[a “duty of care” means the legal obligation of a person or organization to not do things or create circumstances that are likely to cause harm to others.]

The City of Abbotsford argued:

that Mr. Van Tent failed to use ordinary care while riding his motorcycle; his carelessness caused the accident; and therefore [the City and the Construction Company] ought to be absolved of any liability for the accident.

[meaning that the City and the Construction Company blamed the motorcycle driver]

Alternatively, the appellants argued that the judge erred in apportioning only 20% liability against Mr. Van Tent given his carelessness.

[this means that the City and the Construction Company said that if the Court found that the motorcycle driver wasn’t 100% at fault, he should still be more than 20% at fault]

Ultimately, the appeal by Jakes Contracting and the City of Abbotsford was unsuccessful. The Honourable Madam Justice Garson upheld the split of 80 percent against the City and Construction Company and 20 percent against Mr. Van Tent. The Court’s main reasons for this judgment was found in the following paragraphs, explaining that there is a requirement for motorists and highway operators to take into account the needs of motorcycles:

[107] The defendants were entrusted, over a period of several months, with the safety of motorists travelling a major highway while the construction project was being carried out. Responsibility to devise and implement suitable traffic control measures was assigned to an untrained and inexperienced person who proved to be less than adequate. The cut created a very real hazard, particularly for motorcyclists, along a substantial stretch of highway.

Jake’s received nearly daily warnings, in the form of barrel displacements, from which it should have reasonably inferred that, for whatever reason, some number of the westbound travelers were straying over the fog line and dangerously into the construction area.

Yet, Jake’s did not close the right westbound lane during non-work hours, or undertake any reasonable steps to improve the sufficiency of the signage or the barrel configurations.

The defendants failed to implement reasonably adequate warning measures to alert oncoming motorists of the hazard that they had created near the side of the roadway; a hazard that was not readily visible to reasonably attentive and prudent motorcycle riders on their approach to the area.

There was no suggestion that the time or cost that the defendants might have incurred in order to discharge their duty would have been prohibitive, much less disproportionate, to the potential that the hazard would inflict harm.

[108] In my opinion, the defendants’ multiple failures and overall disregard for the safety of the reasonably foreseeable users of the road represents conduct that is exceedingly more at fault and carries greater blame, than does Mr. Van Tent’s momentary lapse of judgment.

Our team of experienced Surrey ICBC Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury Claim Lawyers finds the courts analysis in this particular case to be very helpful in explaining to our clients some of the issues explored and taken into account in serious motorcycle accident claims. To put yourself in the best possible position we strongly suggest that you contact us before talking with ICBC.

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