ICBC reverses decision on pedestrian and cyclist damages
When a pedestrian or cyclist is harmed on the road, the impact can be devastating. Not only can these individuals suffer serious injuries or even fatalities, but up until recently, British Columbia pedestrians and cyclists could face significant financial costs. Under the policy, individuals considered responsible, even partially, would be charged for damages in a motor vehicle accident, even if they themselves were not behind the wheel at the time.
Why did the ICBC change its mind?
The ICBC says it has revoked the policy in response to concerns raised by cyclists and consumer advocates. The policy has received recent pushback due to a number of situations where cyclists involved in collisions were charged thousands for damages. In one incident, a cyclist was billed $3,700 to help pay for repairs to the vehicle that hit him. This news story caught a great deal of attention due to his own serious injury. Further review found the driver 100% liable, and the incident raised serious questions across the province of British Columbia regarding this policy.
Understanding the recent changes to ICBC policies
In addition to changing this approach, ICBC leadership stated that work toward improving the current no fault insurance model is ongoing. This particular change essentially means that cyclists or pedestrians would rarely be financially responsible for damage in a collision. No recovery funds should be sought in cases where there is shared liability or where the pedestrian or cyclist is seriously injured or killed.
Based on this decision, it would be extremely unusual for a pedestrian or cyclist to be held in any way responsible for damages from a collision in which the individual was involved. One remaining issue, however, is helping make sure that people who are hit while walking or on their bikes are able to receive compensation for their own injuries. Those who are concerned about this or other issues related to car accident injuries could receive much-needed help and support from an experienced British Columbia personal injury lawyer.