How do Courts decide who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident?

January 23, 2014

spraggs-and-co-injury-lawyers-how-do-courts-find-fault-in-motor-vehicle-accidentOur last post focused on the question: “How does ICBC determine fault in a motor vehicle accident?” You can see the post here. There’s a unique role for ICBC to play in determining fault, but ultimately it’s not up to ICBC. The real question is: How would the Court decide who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident?

Let’s assume that you have not retained a lawyer who is advocating solely for your interests, and you disagree with ICBC’s assessment of who is at fault in your accident. You’ve asked the ICBC adjuster to reconsider their decision, but nothing changes. So you decide to pursue the matter through the courts. What happens?

Through the court process, a Judge will hear evidence from everyone involved in the actual accident. This means all drivers and all witnesses, including friends and family, as well as an experts who may have relevant knowledge and expertise to assist the court. Judges also scrutinize people testifying in court to decide if they are telling the truth and are reliable.

If you decide to pursue the issue of liability in court you will be suing the other motorists involved in the accident. ICBC will appoint a lawyer to represent the other motorist(s), and you will be up against a lawyer unless you retain your own lawyer. The court’s decision about liability will affect your personal injury claim and any amounts you may be entitled to as a result of a successful claim for damages.

Here’s a curve-ball: if ICBC decided internally that you weren’t at fault in your accident, and then you seek compensation through a personal injury claim, ICBC may claim there is liability against you. When it suits ICBC, they don’t even follow their own internal determination on liability! This illustrates why we think many people injured in motor vehicle accidents benefit from retaining a lawyer who works solely in their interest.

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident please contact Spraggs & Co. at 604.464.3333 to arrange a no-obligation consultation. We can help protect your interests and talk through your options so you can make an informed decision at what can be a difficult and confusing time.

 

 

 

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