Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians converge at intersections. Because they come from different directions at different speeds, it can create confusing situations. If they fail to stop as required at a stop sign or red light, or if they simply fail to pay attention to what they are doing, crashes can easily happen. In fact, according to ICBC statistics, roughly 87,000 accidents occur each year at British Columbia intersections.
If you were recently involved in an auto accident at an intersection in Vancouver or elsewhere in B.C., you will need to establish who was at fault – you or another party. The determination of fault will determine how much compensation you are able to recover for your losses.
You should seek help from an experienced Vancouver car accident lawyer from Klein Lawyers. We have more than 20 years of experience with handling ICBC claims on behalf of car accident victims and their families. We will know how to determine fault in your intersection crash and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Determination of Fault in Intersection Accidents
When you file a no-fault benefits claim or tort claim with ICBC after an intersection accident, an ICBC claims adjuster will review your case and determine who was at fault. To make this determination, the adjuster will:
- Examine evidence from the accident scene, the police report, witness statements, medical records and other information
- Apply the law to the facts of your case, including Motor Vehicle Act fault determination rules and court decisions.
Every case is different. The determination of fault in your case will depend on its specific facts. However, some of the common fault determinations in intersection accidents are:
- Driver runs through stop sign at intersection. A driver must come to a complete stop at an intersection with a stop sign. The driver should stop at the marked stop line or crosswalk. If there is no marking, the driver should stop as soon as the driver can see crossing traffic. If a driver fails to stop at the proper spot and causes a collision, the driver typically will be 100 percent at fault.
- Driver runs through red light at intersection. A driver must also come to complete stop at any intersection with a red light. Unfortunately, many drivers cause crashes when they speed up to “beat the light” and plow into crossing traffic. A driver who fails to stop at a red light should be 100 percent at fault.
- Driver stops, then proceeds through intersection. Even though a driver may obey a stop sign or red light, the driver may then proceed negligently. For instance, the driver may fail to yield the right of way when making a left or right turn or may drive into approaching traffic on the intersecting street. In these situations, fault may hinge on who had the last chance to avoid the crash.
- Crash at intersection with no traffic controls. If two cars arrive at an intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield the right of way to the driver on the right. If the driver fails to yield and causes a car accident, that driver typically will be entirely at fault.
- Rear-end collisions at intersections. In most rear-end collisions that occur at intersections, the driver in the back car is 100 percent at fault. For instance, because the driver is distracted by talking or texting on a cell phone, the driver may fail to see that traffic has stopped at a red light. However, in some cases, the driver in front may be to blame. For instance, the driver may fail to proceed at a green light or may suddenly go in reverse.
Why Does Fault Matter in Your ICBC Claim?
After reviewing the evidence and applying the law to the facts of your case, an ICBC claims adjuster will determine whether your or the other driver are 100 percent at fault or whether you share fault. For instance, the adjuster may decide that you were 25 percent at fault, while the other driver was 75 percent to blame. This determination is important. Consider the following:
- If the adjuster finds that you are 100 percent at fault, you may only be eligible to receive no-fault benefits (also called Part 7 or Accident benefits).
- On the other hand, if the adjuster finds that the other driver was 100 percent at fault, you would be eligible to file a tort claim. This claim could lead to significantly higher compensation than a no-fault benefits claim, including providing compensation for your pain and suffering.
- If the adjuster determines that you and the other driver share fault, it would limit the amount you recover in a tort claim.
Remember: You have the right to appeal any ICBC fault determination. You can go through the ICBC’s Claims Assessment Review process or take your case to court.
If you wish to appeal ICBC’s determination of fault in your intersection accident, Klein Lawyers will protect your rights. We can conduct our own investigation of your crash, consult with experts and aggressively challenge ICBC’s findings on your behalf. Additionally, we will make sure that all paperwork is timely filed in your appeal.
Our goal will to be to recover maximum compensation for you. We want to make sure that you get the funds you deserve for your medical expenses, lost income, pain, suffering and more.
Contact Our Vancouver Intersection Accident Lawyers Today
With a legal team of more than 50 staff members and offices that feature cutting-edge technology, Klein Lawyers can offer the resources you need to establish who was at fault in your intersection accident. You can count on our firm to pursue full and fair compensation for you. To learn more, contact us today and receive a free consultation about your case.