Pedestrians and cyclists struck by a motor vehicle can make an ICBC claim

This article looks at pedestrian and cyclist accidents in Vancouver and how injured victims can pursue claims.

pedestrianIn 2012 the City of Vancouver adopted its Vision Zero plan, which seeks to reduce traffic fatalities in the city to zero by 2040, according to Metro News. While that goal is laudable, it will require massive improvements in traffic safety, especially where accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists are concerned. Currently, about half of all traffic fatalities in Vancouver involve cyclists or pedestrians. Furthermore, cyclists and pedestrians who have been injured in an accident are often unaware of their legal rights, including their right to file a claim through ICBC.

Pedestrians and cyclists at risk

As CBC News reports, Vancouver is currently considering lowering the speed limits on some municipal streets with the goal of making those streets safer for vulnerable road users. A provincial report found that reducing speed limits to between 30 and 50 km/h is the best way of reducing overall pedestrian and cyclist fatalities. Currently, those two groups together account for approximately half of all traffic deaths in Metro Vancouver each year.

Pedestrians are especially vulnerable. Between 2010 and 2014 there were 72 traffic fatalities in Vancouver, with 40 of those fatalities being pedestrians. During that same period, four cyclists were killed, along with nine drivers, 11 passengers, and eight motorcyclists.

Pedestrian and cyclist rights

Many pedestrians and cyclists who are injured in accidents are also often unaware of what legal rights they have to pursue. Indeed, the true number of pedestrian and cyclist accidents is underreported because those injured in such accidents often fail to report them in the first place. Furthermore, many of those injured frequently assume that they cannot pursue financial compensation through ICBC if they themselves do not have insurance.

However, pedestrians, as well as cyclists injured in a motor vehicle accident, have a right to pursue Part 7 ICBC claims. Such claims can help cover the costs of medical expenses, lost income, treatment, housekeeping, bicycle repair/replacement, and the cost of any future care. However, it is important to note that the amount of compensation is limited and may be affected by the claimant's liability for the accident. Adjusters will often try to place most of the fault for an accident on the pedestrian or cyclist's shoulders so as to avoid a bigger payout.

Pursuing full compensation

Most pedestrians and cyclists who have been injured in an accident have had little to no experience dealing with ICBC, which places them at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to negotiating compensation. That's why it is so important to contact a personal injury law firm when involved in an accident. A lawyer will be able to help negotiate a settlement with ICBC on the injured client's behalf, thus helping to ensure that that client stands a better chance of receiving the full compensation he or she may deserve.