A pattern overlooked

Authority ICBC

Sam’s parents were in a car accident and his father, who was driving, was found to be 50% at fault by ICBC. While one witness explained that the driver of the other vehicle had run a red light and Sam’s father had been turning on a green light, another witness came forward saying it was Sam’s father who ran the red light. In light of this contradictory evidence ICBC made the decision to find each driver equally at fault for the accident.

Sam questioned ICBC’s decision. He believed it was based on an incorrect understanding of the traffic light pattern at the intersection. Sam provided ICBC with a video that he had taken of the traffic light pattern at the intersection. The adjuster promised to investigate the matter within a month, but several months passed with no response. After trying repeatedly, Sam was finally informed that ICBC did not investigate the matter as promised and confirmed their decision: 50/50 liability.

Frustrated, Sam came to us.

We investigated whether ICBC followed a reasonable process when determining who was at fault. Through our review, we learned that ICBC was concerned that Sam’s video of the intersection’s traffic pattern may not have been the same as on the date and time of the accident so they did not change their liability assessment. To clarify the issue, we contacted the City of Vancouver who precisely records traffic light patterns. This evidence supported Sam’s position that his father had indeed turned on the green light, not a red light. 

As ICBC had failed to verify a key piece of evidence in relation to Sam’s parents’ accident, we proposed that ICBC reverse their decision and find Sam’s father not at fault. We also asked ICBC to write a letter of apology. Lastly, we asked ICBC to consider adjusting their insurance premiums and refund the money paid on the accident claim. ICBC agreed with all of our recommendations. 

Category Driving and Transportation
Type Case Summary
Fiscal Year 2018