Motorcycle Accidents and Serious Injury Claims in British Columbia
Motorcyclists and their passengers are vulnerable to serious and sometimes life-altering injuries if involved in even a minor road accident. At Murphy Battista LLP, our lawyers have extensive experience helping people who have suffered severe injuries in all kinds of scenarios. Our expertise helping people who have been in motorcycle accidents includes acting for clients with catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and orthopedic injuries. The relative lack of protection (even with appropriate riding gear) means the combination of injuries a rider or passenger can sustain varies. They can include torn ligaments and muscle tears, herniated discs, thoracic outlet syndrome, burns and nerve damage, as well as chronic pain and psychological injuries like PTSD, anxiety and depression.
Several of our lawyers are motorcycle enthusiasts. In addition, Daryl J. Brown, Associate Counsel with the firm, is an experienced trial lawyer, former professional drag racer and motorcycle safety instructor. Daryl also has direct experience on the client side, having been the victim of a serious motorcycle accident himself.
How Motorcycle Accidents are Treated in BC
If you have a motorcycle accident in BC, you are covered under BC’s motor vehicle insurance scheme, which is superior to many auto plans elsewhere in Canada. For example, you are entitled to receive medical rehabilitation benefits even if you were liable for the accident, not directly insured by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), or you were hit by an “out of province” vehicle or rider.
Coverage is also available when the other vehicle is uninsured or unidentifiable. While it is reassuring to know that if you are injured in a motorcycle accident and require care, you need to understand your rights and responsibilities when dealing with your insurance company.
It is common for motorcycle accidents to result in serious injuries. In the case of a severe injury, it is also common for ICBC to act quickly to defend its interests, so it is critical to seek legal advice to ensure you are not taken advantage of by the insurance company. The situation in British Columbia has also become more complicated because of the introduction of a full “no-fault” system that removes an injured person’s ability to sue the negligent person who caused their injury in court. The new system came into effect May 1, 2021, and applies to accidents that occurred after this date.
Benefits Available to Injured Motorcyclists
The BC Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act requires that ICBC provide certain medical rehabilitation benefits and partial wage loss benefits to those that qualify. Medical benefits include access to rehabilitation specialists and various facilities.
When you have suffered serious injuries, ICBC must take care of all reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the injury. Under Part 7, Section 88(1) of the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act that includes reasonable expenses for necessary medical, surgical, dental, hospital, ambulance, and professional nursing services, as well as other rehabilitation expenses, e.g., physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, speech therapy, or the costs of prosthesis or orthosis.
However, exactly what medical benefits and how much TTD’s you are entitled to can be complicated. The criteria you must meet to collect your benefits and continue receiving them can be confusing. The conditions are numerous and ongoing, sometimes resulting in foregone entitlements. This is a situation where having a lawyer can help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident anywhere in British Columbia, we are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation or submit an inquiry form with your preferred contact information, and we will contact you.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness
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Although any accident has the potential to end in a serious injury, in our experience motorcyclists are particularly prone to being involved in collisions that have catastrophic consequences for the rider. Notably, our anecdotal experience is backed up by hard data. The US non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)…Continue Reading
Tough Facts Don’t Always Mean an Unwinnable Case: Chow v. Chan
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Disclaimer: The outcome of every legal proceeding will vary according to the facts and unique circumstances in each individual case. References to successful case results where the lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP have acted for clients are not necessarily a guarantee or indicative of future results.
Scott Stanley successfully represented the Plaintiff at trial. The Plaintiff was a cement truck driver who was unable to continue with his career after being involved in a car accident. The Plaintiff’s damages were assessed at $600,000.
Daryl Brown represented a motorcyclist who suffered life altering orthopedic injuries and a brain injury. The main issue was if the plaintiff had ever worked in the past and if that meant she was not entitled to past and future wage loss. This case was proven without the extensive use of historical tax returns. Regardless, the court found that due to injury the plaintiff missed out on opportunities to work and therefore, awarded her over $1,600,000 for all her losses.
Joe Murphy, Q.C. was successful on behalf of the firm’s client Ms. Chow in a case where all of the defendants were at fault for causing a motorcycle accident that seriously injured Ms. Chow. The six defendant motorcyclists were travelling at a very high speed and riding abreast across both lanes of the road on which the Plaintiff (Ms. Chow) was travelling on her motorcycle. Although only one defendant actually struck Ms. Chow’s motorcycle, and only three of the six defendants were driving on the wrong side of the road, we successfully argued that all of the defendants were equally at fault for creating the dangerous conditions that led to the accident by reason of their participation in a joint and dangerous activity. Liability was found to rest with all six defendants.