Reasons for judgment were released yesterday in Bains v. Park, 2014 BCSC 1818. This was a trial I conducted before Mr. Justice Joyce on September 16 through 18, 2014. My client was involved in a motor vehicle accident wherein the driver ahead of her reversed his vehicle into hers. The Defendant driver then denied this and alleged that my client had rear ended him! My client suffered injuries as a result of the accident, but ICBC refused to compensate her as she had no witnesses to corroborate her story. Simply put: she could not prove that the other driver was liable.
The Plaintiff hired me in 2010, and we set the matter for trial and examined the Defendant driver in 2014. At discovery, and while under oath, the Defendant driver admitted to reversing into the Plaintiff thereby causing the accident as alleged. Even then, the corporation would not admit liability.
On the first day of trial as I was making my opening statement, counsel for the defendant (effectively counsel for ICBC) advised that liability was now formally admitted. The trial then focused on what damages the Plaintiff was entitled to.
I am proud to say that while not a huge amount of money, justice was served for my client who, had she not sought legal advise, would have received nothing in the way of compensation for her injuries, even though the accident occurred through no fault of her own.
The lesson here is that, at least in personal injury cases where it is possible to retain counsel on a contingency basis (i.e. you don’t pay unless you win the case), it is almost always advisable to retain a lawyer than go it alone.
You can read the case here: http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/SC/14/18/2014BCSC1818.htm