An ICBC personal injury claim arising from a motorcycle accident presents unique challenges that can make the claim more complex. We’ve put together the top three challenges faced in motorcycle accident claims and explain the challenges they can present in an ICBC motorcycle accident claim:
Severity of Injuries
Liability Disputes and Bias Against Motorcyclists
Allegations of Contributory Negligence
Motorcycle Accident Claims and Severity of Injuries
Motorcyclists often sustain severe, life-changing injuries when a crash occurs. Compared to an occupant of a car or truck who is protected by the vehicle frame, seatbelt, and airbags, a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable to serious injury due to the lack of protection offered by a motorcycle and the risk of being thrown from the bike as a result of the crash. While motorcycle helmets and other safety gear can help minimize the risk of serious injuries such as concussions or brain injuries, the chance of serious personal injury or death can never be eliminated. In addition, there is a significant risk that a motorcyclist will sustain harm to other parts of their body, such as fractured bones, permanent scarring to the arms and legs, damage to the internal organs, or spinal cord injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Claims, Liability Disputes and Bias Against Motorcyclists
Motorcycle accident injuries are often extremely serious, which means that the ultimate payout for the ICBC injury claim can be substantial. ICBC will fight hard to try to minimize the compensation it has to pay to the accident victim. One of the ways it will attempt to do so is by disputing liability for the crash. ICBC will allege that the motorcyclist was at fault and the actions of the motorcyclist will be scrutinized to determine if he or she caused or contributed to the accident in any way. The majority of people have never operated a motorcycle and many people make false assumptions about motorcyclists. People are often influenced by negative stereotypes (e.g., that motorcyclists are reckless or take risks such as weaving through traffic or exceeding the speed limit). The truth of the matter is that accidents are often caused by inattentive or careless car or truck drivers who fail to check blind spots for motorcycles or who turn in front of motorcycles without signalling. Many motorcyclists are injured by other drivers who attempt to share the lane with a motorcycle or who misjudge the speed or distance of a motorcycle. When ICBC denies liability, it is often necessary to gather evidence from independent witnesses or an accident reconstruction expert to establish the cause of the crash.
Allegations of Contributory Negligence
Another way that ICBC will attempt to minimize the compensation it has to pay is by raising the defence of “contributory negligence” against the injured motorcyclist. At its essence, this is an allegation that the motorcyclist contributed to their own injuries by failing to take reasonable precautions for their own safety. For example, if the motorcyclist sustained a head injury, concussion or brain injury as a result of a crash, ICBC may allege that the injured rider failed to wear a proper safety helmet and as a result contributed to their own injuries. It is important to understand that the defence is fact-specific, and ICBC must prove its allegation that the motorcyclist could have avoided or lessened their injuries. ICBC will likely need to obtain expert engineer or medical evidence to prove the defence.
Motorcycle accident claims can be complex. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in BC, you should get legal advice from an ICBC claim lawyer who understands the complexities and who has experience with handling the unique challenges of a motorcycle accident personal injury case. We have offices in Vancouver, Burnaby, Abbotsford, and Surrey. Our experienced ICBC claim lawyers can help you overcome any challenging aspects of your ICBC claim and fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (604) 689-8888 to schedule your free consultation with one of our team of ICBC claim lawyers.