A car accident can be a traumatic experience. Being injured in a car accident can lead to financial burdens and ongoing medical problems that could have been prevented if the driver of the other car had not been acting negligently. Motorists who drive recklessly by speeding, disobeying traffic laws, or who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol put everyone on the road at risk of personal injury.
Where Do Most Car Accidents Happen?
Most accidents occur at intersections. According to the ICBC, in 2012 there were 120,000 accidents reported at intersections. 60,000 reported injuries and 77 of these accidents were fatal. Many occur when drivers turn left. Often it is assumed that the left-turning driver is always at fault. In fact, the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act provides that the oncoming driver must yield to the left-turning driver where the left-turning driver has acted reasonably in starting the turn and is an “immediate hazard.” Often, left-turning drivers must turn blind because they cannot see behind other vehicles that have stopped in front of them in the oncoming lanes. The oncoming driver can be held liable if he or she was driving at too high a speed and passing other vehicles on the right. Courts have held that drivers must take reasonable care at busy intersections whether or not they technically have the right of way.
At uncontrolled intersections, the vehicle on the driver’s right generally has the right-of-way, but once again, it is not absolute. If the other driver is close to the intersection, then the right-of-way shifts and the driver on the right should stop and let the other driver proceed through the intersection.
At intersections controlled by traffic lights, accidents often occur because drivers do not slow down when the amber light appears. In fact, drivers may speed up in order to make it through the light. The Motor Vehicle Act also requires that, when the traffic light changes to green the motorist must wait for vehicles already in the intersection to clear the intersection. This arises more frequently now because of the increasing number of pedestrian controlled traffic lights. A vehicle might cross the street just as the pedestrian light changes, leaving the vehicle in the middle of the intersection when traffic begins to move. Depending on the circumstances, both drivers involved in the collision could be held liable.
What Damages Can I Recover from ICBC?
Every car accident claim if different so potential compensation is decided on a case to case basis. In order to maximize your compensation, you should discuss the specific circumstance of your accident with an experienced car accident lawyer. The types of damages you may be able to receive from ICBC include:
- Medical expenses, both current and future
- Lost wages, including future potential wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses relating to your accident
- Compensation for family members who provided assistance to you due to your injuries
Vancouver Car Accident Lawyer
Whenever there is a serious injury arising from a motor vehicle accident, it is necessary to act immediately and retain counsel. Making a claim with the ICBC can often be difficult and confusing. Only an experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer will know the steps that should be taken to protect your interests. Bruce Lemer is a trial lawyer who has experience with ICBC claims. If liability could be an issue, it is necessary to promptly interview witnesses and document any vehicle damage as well as the accident scene. Early involvement of engineers and other experts can be important.
In the real world, questions of liability are not always clear cut. There is often some ambiguity as to the extent to which any one party is liable. Experienced auto accident lawyer Bruce Lemer can analyze all the variables involved, develop necessary evidence and retain top experts. If liability is an issue, it is beneficial to retain an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer promptly so that the evidence can be preserved. It is important that no mistakes are made when dealing with ICBC. Lemer & Company will work to ensure your claim is filed properly and that your rights are protected.