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Surrey Left Turn ICBC Accident

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Surrey Left Turn ICBC Accident Lawyers Explain Fault

Our Surrey left turn ICBC accident  often assess degrees of fault between through traffic drivers and drivers who are turning left at an intersection.  Our Surrey left turn ICBC accident lawyers at MacLean Personal Injury  also know left turn accidents are a large part of ICBC accident claims that we help our clients with at our offices in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna and Fort St John BC.

Left turn driver’s have a duty of care when turning left that they must discharge to ensure there left turn is done safely but the oncoming driver has a duty to drive carefully as well. When driver’s act foolishly they can expect a court to find each potentially fully or partially liable. When you are in an accident call our Surrey left turn ICBC accident lawyers immediately at 604-576-5400 to ensure you understand how liability for the accident works and so we can help you collect witnesses, get medical care and protect you from ICBC adjustors who may rush to judgment.

How Often Do You See Dangerous Left Turns Or Rude Drivers Who Run The Light Leaving The Left Turn Driver Stuck In No Man’s land?

Surrey left turn ICBC accident lawyer, Spencer MacLean

Surrey left turn ICBC accident lawyer, Spencer MacLean

How often have you seen a car run a red light when someone was waiting to turn left? What abut the foolhardy left turn driver who turns left against oncoming traffic, when there are pedestrians in the cross walk causing the hapless pedestrians to flee, causing innocent drivers to blast their horns and worse still causing a sickening crunch of metal as the two cars collide?

Our Surrey left turn ICBC accident lawyers just reviewed a recent BC Court of Appeal case called Pirie v. Skantz that dealt with who is at fault when two cars crash when one turns left and hits an oncoming car.

In this case the Surrey left turn ICBC accident lawyers argued that the trial judge got in wrong when he made an order in a motor vehicle negligence case apportioning 60% of the fault for the accident to the appellant, a left-turning driver, and 40% of the fault to the respondent, a through driver.  

60/40 Liability Upheld In Surrey Left Turn ICBC Accident

In dismissing the appeal from the 60/40 liability split the court reviewed the rules for how fault is determined in a Surrey left turn ICBC accident case and held that:

[11]         The appellant notes that in summarizing the framework set out in Nerval, the trial judge said this:

[36]      In Nerval, at paras. 36-37, Harris J.A. outlined the two-part burden placed upon a left turning driver under s. 174, summarized as follows:

(1)  to demonstrate that when the left turning driver commenced his or her turn, there was no immediate hazard; and

(2)  if the through driver is found to be the dominant driver, to show that the through driver nonetheless was negligent and at fault for contributing to the accident.

[12]         The appellant says it must be taken from the trial judge’s restatement of the second burden identified in Nerval that she proceeded on the erroneous premise that the appellant was necessarily negligent because she was the servient driver. The appellant submits the error is manifest in the trial judge’s condensed articulation of the Nerval framework and, in particular, her failure to include the words “for causing” used by Mr. Justice Harris at paragraph 37 of that judgment. The appellant submits the trial judge failed to appreciate that, despite being the servient driver, it was open to the appellant to discharge her onus of demonstrating the respondent was entirely at fault for causing the accident.

[13]         The appellant points to a number of cases in which a through driver was found to be either wholly or primarily at fault for the accident: see, for example, Uyeyama v. Wittenberg, [1985] B.C.J. No. 1883 (B.C.C.A.); Kokkinis v. Hall, [1996] B.C.J. No. 1560 (B.C.C.A.); Morgan v. Hauck (1988), 27 B.C.L.R. (2d) 118. In these cases, the through driver either ran a red light or was in a position to bring their vehicle to a safe stop before the intersection − features conspicuously absent in the case at bar. I note that the trial judge referred to these authorities in her reasons for judgment, effectively adopting the position the appellant advances on appeal:

[38]      However, the duty on a left turning driver under s. 174 of the MVA is not absolute. Left turning drivers are entitled to assume that other drivers will obey the rules of the road, absent any reasonable indication to the contrary. In particular, a left turning driver is not required to wait until he or she sees that all approaching drivers have stopped: Kokkinis v. Hall (1996), 19 B.C.L.R. (3d) 273 (C.A.) at para. 10.

[14]         I take no issue with the appellant’s submission that a through driver can, in appropriate circumstances, be found wholly at fault for an accident involving a driver who turns left on a stale yellow light. As a practical matter, a driver like the respondent, who is in a dominant position, will not typically be found to be liable for an accident: Salaam v. Abramovic, 2010 BCCA 212 at para. 25. Having said that, where a through driver: (1) approaches an intersection at an excessive rate of speed or otherwise conducts himself in such a way as to deprive the left-turning driver of the ability to reasonably anticipate he is about to enter the intersection on a stale yellow light; (2) fails to bring his vehicle to a stop in circumstances where other vehicles travelling in the same direction have already done so; or (3) should have become aware of the left-turning driver’s own disregard of the law in circumstances that afforded him a sufficient opportunity to avoid the accident through the exercise of reasonable care, the through driver may be found wholly or primarily at fault for the accident: Pacheco (Guardian ad litem) v. Robinson (1993), 75 B.C.L.R. (2d) 273 (B.C.C.A.); Walker v. Brownlee, (1952), 2 D.L.R. 450 (S.C.C.).

It’s About Justice Then It’s About The Money

As you can see the rules of the road are tricky. If you suffer a Surrey left turn ICBC accident don’t compound any mistake by failing to contact us immediately. We’ll help you get on the road to recovery and work with you to maximize your money settlement. Call us now at 604-576-5400.



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