Vancouver BC Personal Injury Lawyers - Stephens and Holman

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bike to Work Week

 Every year we celebrate cycling and encourage the good environmental practice of biking to work with Bike to Work Week.

When biking to work there are a few rules of the road to remember.
  1. Look at the signs. Cyclists should not ride on a sidewalk or a crosswalk unless directed to do so by a sign.
  2. Ride on the right (not left) side of the road
  3. If riding at night make sure to have a white headlight (visible from 150m), a red reflector, and a red rear facing light.
  4. Use hand signals to indicate right turn, left turn, or slowing speed.
  5. Wear your helmet—it’s mandatory.
When accidents arise.
  1. Stay at the scene
  2. Provide your name and address to the injured person (or get the contact information of the party contributing to the accident if you are the injured person)
  3. Take pictures of the accident and document exactly what happened
  4. Seek necessary medical attention immediately
Generally, the same rules of the road which apply to vehicles also apply to cyclists (with a few exceptions and additions). Make sure to follow the appropriate cycling laws when riding your bike because when an accident occurs rule-breakers may be held partially liable, even when the rule breaker is the injured party. For example, if a motor vehicle turns right and hits a cyclist who is riding on a crosswalk the cyclist may be considered part, or even half, at fault since he or she was inappropriately riding on the crosswalk. The same is true from cyclists who are riding their bike on the sidewalk or riding at night without a headlight.

On average, nearly 1,000 cyclists sustain injuries from May to October in B.C. Bike accidents cases can be multi-layered and the law is complex. Even if as the cyclist you contributed to the accident leading to your injury, you may still be able to receive compensation. At Stephens & Holman we will examine the facts of your cycling accident and fight to get you the best possible outcome. Contact one of our 14 office locations today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We serve Langley, Vancouver and all of British Columbia.

posted by Admin at 8:03 AM

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Public Policy in B.C. and Zip Lines

In a decision released last week the Court of Appeals determined that allowing a motor vehicle owner or operator to waive liability for personal injuries is against public policy in B.C.

The Whistler zip line is a large attraction for B.C. tourists. People enjoy the thrill of zipping through the air, hundreds of feet above the ground.  However, before this thrilling experience most adventure companies will ask you to complete and sign a waiver. This waiver will say that you acknowledge the inherent danger of the activity and you release the company from liability in case an accident or injury occurs. But what happens when someone safely survives the zip line, but is injured while being transported back from the zip line site? This is exactly what happened to a teacher visiting B.C. from Australia who engaged in a Ziptrek Ecotours Inc. activity.

When riding the zip line operator’s bus back to Whistler Village, the bus flipped in an accident and Karen Niedermeyer suffered severe injuries. Initially, the B.C. Supreme Court issued a decision dismissing Niedermeyer’s lawsuit because she had signed the Release of Liability waiver before her excursion. However, the Court of Appeals overturned the earlier Supreme Court decision. In her majority opinion, Judge Garson explained how B.C. has compulsory universal insurance coverage for personal injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents. When a person signs a waiver to engage in an adventurous activity they should not be exempt from recovering damages for their injuries when an accident occurs outside of the dangerous activity. Allowing a motor vehicle operator to be free from liability when the injury occurred during the transportation to the activity and not during the activity is contrary to public policy in B.C. So motor vehicle operators of adventure tour companies are still on the hook for your safety.

If you or your loved one suffered severe injuries from a motor vehicle accident call or email the injury lawyers Stephens & Holman immediately. Even if you signed a contract releasing the responsible party from liability you may still be able to recover damages for your injuries. You can meet with us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case. Our goal is to serve you!

posted by Admin at 6:28 AM

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