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Motorcycle Passenger Injury Claims | Paine Edmonds LLP

What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Passenger Injuries Claims in Vancouver?

Motorcycle accidents are known for being more likely to cause those involved to be injured and injured severely. From road rash to concussions motorcyclists and their passengers can sustain painful injuries from these accidents. The lack of a hard protective shell and soft restraints like airbags and seatbelts make passengers and motorcyclists more vulnerable.

These injuries often require complex, expensive treatment and may mean those injured miss work or require additional assistance with self-care, childcare or other domestic responsibilities. A trusted Vancouver motorcycle injury lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover these costs while you focus on recovery.

As a motorcycle passenger, there are a few things you should know about obtaining proper compensation for your claim.

Proving Liability

In order to obtain compensation, it must be established who is at-fault for the accident. It could be another driver or the motorcyclist who is at fault or some combination of the two. As a passenger on the motorcycle, you are not likely to be found at fault for the accident.

One Vehicle Accidents

In a one-vehicle accident, it is more likely that the driver of the motorcycle is at fault for the accident. Some examples of negligence in a one-vehicle motorcycle accident include: speeding, making an improper turn or lane change, failing to properly maintain the vehicle, unsafe stopping or not utilizing headlamps or driving lights when they are required.

This is not an exhaustive list. If the driver did one or more of the above or engaged in other conduct that fell below the standard expected of a reasonable driver that leads to a collision, it is likely that the driver is responsible.

Two and Multi-Vehicle Accidents

In a two or more vehicle accident, either the driver of the motorcycle or the driver of the other vehicle may be at fault or the fault may be divided between the two drivers. If the motorcyclist engaged in any of the activities described above, he or she may be partially or wholly liable for the accident.

The driver of the other vehicle may have similarly engaged in negligent behaviour, such as speeding, an unsafe lane change, an unsafe turn, abrupt stopping or other conduct. It is noteworthy, that liability may be shared even when there is no impact. When a driver unsafely changes lanes causing the motorcycle to wipe out, the driver of the other vehicle may still be partially or wholly liable.

Other Factors

Finally, there are sometimes environmental factors that impact whether there is an accident and the severity of the accident. In motorcycle accidents, damage or wear and tear to an improperly maintained road may snag a tire and cause the motorcycle to turn over.

There may also be a potential claim against the manufacturer of the motorcycle, helmet or other protective equipment if this equipment failed due to negligent manufacturing.

Proving Damages

Once liability has been established, you must establish that you have sustained financial losses in addition to incurring pain and suffering from your injuries. You will need to show that you paid out-of-pocket costs for treatment incurred, and expenses to care for your child, your home or self-care if applicable. You will also need to demonstrate that your accident caused you lost wages or other income (e.g., business income) and/or that you lost future income as the case may be.

Filing a Claim for Non-Fault Benefits

In addition to the compensation available by bringing a claim against the at-fault party and the insurer, as the passenger injured in a motorcycle accident you can also make a claim for Part 7 Benefits from ICBC.

Accident benefits or no-fault insurance benefits are available to those injured in an accident regardless of who is at fault through their own ICBC coverage. This includes coverage for treatment and even disability benefits if you are unable to work.

A View from the Courts

A classic case of a motorcycle accident occurred in Tennant v. Ward, 1995 CanLII 1661 (BC SC).

The motorcyclist was riding in a convoy proceeding westbound and had just come over a rise in the road and was descending when his attention was drawn to the side of the road. He wanted to slow down and observed the defendant riding about 30 feet behind. To alert the defendant and slow down, the motorcyclist tapped his brakes to show his brake light and geared down, slowing between 5 and 10 miles an hour from the 35 miles an hour he had been travelling.
A screeching sound was heard by the motorcyclist’s passenger, which was followed by an impact from the defendant’s motorcycle that caused the motorcyclist to lose control and slide off the road, injuring both the motorcyclist and his passenger. ICBC alleged the parties fabricated the accident, but the court determined that the defendant was solely responsible for the accident.

The motorcyclist and his passenger both suffered serious injuries and received compensation in court. The motorcyclist was awarded $30,000 in non-pecuniary damages and $48,746 for loss of wages. The motorbike passenger was awarded $45,000 in non-pecuniary damages, $13,500 in future housekeeping costs and $2,500 for jewelry lost as a result of the accident.

Contact Paine Edmonds LLP, Injury Lawyers in Vancouver

If you or a loved one sustained injuries from a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer in Vancouver right away. Our lawyers will protect you against ICBC lawyers in Vancouver who will fight to reduce your compensation. We will seek fair compensation for your case. Contact us at Paine Edmonds LLP at 1-800-669-8599.