Destroyed motorcycle - crash aftermath

When a motorcycle attempts to pass a vehicle by travelling in the wrong lane of travel and is side swiped by a vehicle they are passing, who is at fault?

In this week’s personal injury post, we wish to highlight the fact that liability assessments are often complicated and nuanced decisions that require considering the facts of the case carefully. In Postic v Demarco, 2020 BCSC 1950, a 2020 decision of D. MacDonald J., the court found split liability between a driver of a vehicle travelling east who struck the plaintiff motorcyclist that was trying to pass on the left. In this case, the plaintiff was travelling down Stewart Street in Vancouver and arrived at a line of vehicles. He came to a stop in the left most lane. He leaned over the centre line, saw that it was clear, and proceeded to cross over the centre line and drive down the road. As he was driving the wrong way, he came upon the defendant’s vehicle.

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Woman putting on medical mask

The Workers Compensation Act provides workers with access to benefits for injuries or illnesses that they have suffered in the course of and arising out of their employment. In the right circumstances, a workplace condition can include an infectious disease such as COVID-19. The WorkSafeBC policy requires the individual to have part of their employment be a factor that increases the likelihood that they will become exposed to COVID-19. While this policy was likely drafted with hospital and medical staff in mind, it also likely includes grocery store clerks, pharmacy workers, truck drivers, and other essential workers.

The requirements for compensation under WorkSafeBC for COVID-19 are:

  1. Evidence that the worker has contracted COVID-19, either through a medical diagnosis in a medical report, or non-medical factual evidence where other evidence establishes the existence of COVID-19.
  2. The worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.

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Man getting RMT treatment or physio treatment

In personal injury claims (e.g. car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, or sexual assault) there are different categories of compensation that a plaintiff can seek. A common claim is for loss of income earning capacity (i.e. the reduced ability to earn income because of someone else’s negligence). In the case of Grant v Ditmarsia Holdings Ltd, 2020 BCSC 1705, Madam Justice Wilkinson was evaluating a case involving a person who had suffered almost no income loss between the date of injury (February 10, 2015) and the date of trial (July 27, 2020) but nevertheless claimed loss of income earning capacity into the future. Wilkinson J. summarized the issue as follows:

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Sorry we're closed store sign

The law has a few legal mechanisms available to analyze how a global pandemic may impact contractual obligations between people in our society, and we will address two in this blog post.

The first is found in many commercial contracts. These contracts often contain clauses that address events that are beyond the contracting-parties’ control, which are often referred to as “force majeure” clauses.

The second is a common law doctrine that is often applied to contracts, including employment contract, that fail to have specific clauses. This doctrine is called the law of frustration.

A recent case from the BC Supreme Court addresses both legal principles so it is a useful summary to address these principles and how they may be looked at in the context of COVID-19.

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Woman in suit typing on laptop

In short, no. If you believe that you have a potential claim, then you need to set out your factual allegations and claims before the time limit set in the BC Human Rights Code. That goes for most claims and is also true for the work discrimination case example below.

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Two doctors in full scrubs

Medical malpractice is a common occurrence. There are many cases of medical malpractice in BC every year. Medication errors, delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, surgical and/or anesthesia errors are some examples. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation, although the process is complicated, and working with a medical malpractice lawyer is highly recommended. This post is meant to provide a rudimentary understanding about medical malpractice cases. For more specific opinion about your case, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation, without obligations.

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traumatic brain injury claims and settlements in victoria bc

Traumatic brain injuries often change people’s lives. That is why brain injury claims often attract large monetary awards for loss of income and future care. However, not all brain injuries are similar. Their treatment and claim procedures depend on many factors. Read on to learn more, and contact us today to speak to one of our expert brain injury lawyers.

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how to fire an employee properly

An employer may terminate and employee for many different reasons, such as: selling the business; employee misconduct; bankruptcy; business restructuring; and many others. It would be impossible to cover all scenarios in this one post. However, we can offer some general guidelines for all employers, who need to embark upon the unfortunate situation of firing an employee.

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Employment Lawyer

The fees vary based on the service or issue. For example, if you want a contract reviewed or drafted then the expense will differ from representation in a wrongful dismissal or human rights claim. The process starts with a free consultation. In this consultation we can usually identify likely options to deal with the employment issue facing you or your business. In small matters such as a contract review, a free consultation may be all you require as we can often determine if you need representation or if you can manage the issue on your own.

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WorkSafeBC WCB Lawyer Victoria BC

What does HOM charge for WorkSafeBC / WCB cases?

Our firm charges a standard hourly rate plus applicable taxes and expenses. The hourly rate will range based on the experience of the lawyer you hire to work on your case from $275 per hour to $450 per hour. In general, your bill should cost roughly the same regardless of the experience of the lawyer as the more experienced lawyer should take less time than a less experienced lawyer. Your end product should always be excellent.

Expenses depend upon the case and the need for evidence. They can range from straightforward office expenses of file opening fees, faxes, photocopying, printing, and courier expenses to more technical expenses such as court filing and service fees, clinical records, and expert report fees. Any expense that is going to cost more than $200 such as an expert report will be discussed with the client beforehand.

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