When ICBC disputes liability: McQuillan v. Dean, 2014

If ICBC disputes liability, a skilled personal injury lawyer can be invaluable to securing the compensation you deserve. ICBC found an accident victim 100% at fault for the collision and denied his personal injury claim on that basis in McQuillan v. Dean, 2014 BCSC 2578. The accident victim, Mr. McQuillan, came to Simpson, Thomas & Associates after ICBC had found him 100% at fault, and one of our team of top Vancouver personal injury lawyers took the case to trial. The court reversed ICBC’s decision completely and found that the other driver was 100% at fault for the accident. As a result, Mr. McQuillan was entitled to full compensation for his injuries.

Disputed liability in ICBC personal injury claims

To succeed with a personal injury tort claim, you must prove that another motorist drove in a negligent manner, thus causing or contributing to the accident. ICBC knows that you have the burden of proving fault in your claim for damages and will use that to its advantage. ICBC’s first line of defence to your personal injury claim is often based on its own determination of liability for the accident. Liability for an accident can often be complicated and difficult to prove. Where that is the case, ICBC will apportion some fault for the accident to you or completely deny your personal injury claim based on its own decision on liability.  It can feel hopeless for an accident victim to try to convince ICBC to reverse its liability decision.

Liability dispute in Mr. McQuillan’s claim for damages

The collision that caused Mr. McQuillan’s injuries occurred on June 11, 2011 between a Dodge Caliber driven by Mr. Dean and a Chevrolet Aveo driven by Mr. McQuillan. The accident took place on Quarry Road in Coquitlam, BC, a hilly gravel road that is wide enough for two lanes of traffic. While driving on Quarry Road, Mr. McQuillan noticed a bear crossing ahead of him. He pulled his Aveo onto the grassy shoulder of the road and got out to take a picture of the bear. When he heard Mr. Dean’s vehicle approaching on the gravel road, he got back into the Aveo. At that point, the right front corner of Mr. Dean’s Dodge struck the left rear part of Mr. McQuillan’s Aveo, pushing it forward about 10 feet. Mr. McQuillan sued Mr. Dean, and Mr. Dean sued Mr. McQuillan for damages arising from the accident. Each driver took the position that the other driver was wholly at fault for the accident. Mr. McQuillan’s position was that Mr. Dean was driving carelessly and too fast and the Aveo was stationary when it was struck by the Dodge. Mr. Dean argued that the Aveo was in the travelled portion of the road when the impact occurred and that he could have avoided the Aveo if the Aveo had not been reversing.

ICBC’s liability determination overturned by the court

We took Mr. McQuillan’s case to trial and succeeded in obtaining a judgment of the court 100% in his client’s favour. All of the relevant events occurred in a matter of seconds, and the evidence was in conflict. Both of the drivers were called to provide evidence, and each was subject to cross-examination to test the strength of their version of how the accident occurred. Both sides called expert evidence from accident reconstruction engineers to provide opinions on contested issues such as whether the Aveo was reversing and how far from the crest of a hill the Aveo was when the impact occurred. Following what the trial judge called “the model of a well-run trial” marked by counsels’ very efficient and focussed presentation of the case, the court rejected all of the defence allegations, finding that Mr. McQuillan was in no way negligent for the accident that caused his injuries. Mr. Dean was held to be entirely responsible for the accident that caused Mr. McQuillan’s injuries.

Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer if ICBC denies your claim

Liability or fault for a motor vehicle accident is often disputed by ICBC. If you have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident and you believe that ICBC has wrongly determined that you are at fault for the accident, you need a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side. The Vancouver ICBC claims lawyers at Simpson, Thomas & Associates https://simpsonthomas.com/our-team/ are skilled at dealing with ICBC adjusters and gathering evidence to refute ICBC’s fault determinations. Our lawyers have experience spanning all levels of court in British Columbia, as well as everything from minor injuries to catastrophic losses. Contact us to set up your free consultation.

 

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