Cyclist suffers a broken arm after being hit by a motorist who drove through a stop sign – then has to pay $3,700 to repair damage to the car

A Canadian cyclist who was hit by a law-breaking motorist, leaving him in hospital, has been billed $3,700 by provincial auto insurer to fix the hood and windshield of the driver’s car .

Vancouver resident Ben Bolliger said he was cycling to lunch in the city last summer when a motorist, driving a Mercedes-Benz, drove through a stop sign and hit him. struck, breaking his arm and breaking his bike in half.

“I may have entered the intersection going maybe five kilometers an hour and was thrown 14 meters,” Bolliger told CBC. “They removed many pieces of windshield from my back. I think in the end I received close to 97 sutures and staples.

However, when the incident was assessed by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), Bolliger was found to be 50% responsible for the collision. The cyclist was then told that he had to pay nearly $4,000 to repair the damage to the car.

Bolliger believes his case highlights the flaws and anti-cycling biases of ICBC’s controversial new no-fault insurance system.

Introduced in May 2021, the new system removed an individual’s right to sue for bodily injury and vehicle damage caused by a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia “in all but very limited”.

ICBC has promised that the new program will save the average motorist $400 a year in premiums, while redirecting money formerly spent on legal costs to benefit people injured in crashes.

The company told CBC that investigators review all evidence before making a decision and that in claims involving conflicting accounts or insufficient evidence, “culpability may be shared.” Decisions can then be appealed through the civil resolution process.

However, Bolliger said: “They treat my bike like it’s an uninsured vehicle…just like they would treat a car, which in my mind is crazy.

“And under this new no-fault insurance scheme – which seems comical at this point – there is really no or very little recourse for cyclists.”

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Another Vancouver cyclist, Alecia Sharp, was hit by a motorist who she says jumped a red light at the junction of a major bike path in the city.

However, ICBC told her she was 100% responsible for the crash because she entered the junction from a stop sign, although she won’t have to pay for the damages. .

“I waited for the pedestrian sign,” she said. “But because I left on a stretcher, unfortunately I couldn’t get any information from the scene. So I don’t know about the car that hit me and I couldn’t get any information about the witnesses either.

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A cycling lawyer said the two cases underscore the unfairness of the new ICBC system and called on local cyclists to wear helmets or body cameras so they can provide clear evidence to the police. following an accident.

“After [the introduction of] without fail, the ability to challenge any decision made by ICBC, including liability, has been removed or severely restricted,” said David Hay. “Under the old system, you could retain a lawyer to create leverage… In the new world, you can’t seek damages.”

Cycling campaign group HUB has also criticized the current motor vehicle law, which it says does little to protect vulnerable road users in British Columbia.

HUB spokesman Jeff Leigh said: ‘It’s very outdated and doesn’t do much for people who are walking or biking. A specific law on vulnerable road users would be a big step forward.

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