Vancouver cyclist charged $3,700 for damage to car that hit him


A Vancouver cyclist has been billed $3,700 by the provincial auto insurer to repair the hood and windshield of a car that hit and injured him last summer.

Ben Bolliger said he was pedaling for lunch on Granville Island when a Mercedes-Benz driver ran a stop sign at the intersection of Willow Street and West 7th Avenue, hitting him with enough force to seriously break his right arm and break his bicycle. in two.

“I may have entered the intersection going maybe five kilometers an hour and was thrown 14 meters,” he said. “They removed many pieces of windshield from my back. I think in the end [I received] nearly 97 sutures and staples.”

According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia’s (ICBC) assessment of the incident, Bolliger was found to be 50% responsible for the accident and was charged accordingly for the damage to the car.

Bolliger and cycling advocates say his case highlights flaws in the no-fault insurance system recently introduced by ICBC.

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

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

In a statement, ICBC said investigators are reviewing all evidence before making a decision. He said that in claims involving conflicting accounts or insufficient evidence, “responsibility for the accident may be shared” and decisions may be appealed through the civil resolution process.

Under the no-fault system, people can no longer sue for damages if they are injured in an accident involving a vehicle.

ICBC switched to the model on May 1, 2021, promising it would save the average BC driver $400 a year in premiums while redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars spent on lawyers and legal fees to benefit people injured in accidents.

Bolliger’s fate was revealed after he spoke about it on social media. Turns out he’s not the only disgruntled ICBC rider.

Cyclist Alecia Sharp claims she was hit by a car that ran a red light, but ICBC has told her she was 100% responsible for the accident. (Radio Canada)

Alecia Sharp told CBC she was hit by a car that she said ran a red light at a major bike lane intersection at East 10th Avenue and Clark Drive.

ICBC told her she was 100% responsible for the crash because she entered the intersection from a stop sign.

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

The accident and the aftermath were particularly stressful for the pregnant Sharp. Unlike Bolliger, she only recently learned that ICBC would not charge her money.

According to a personal injury lawyer who specializes in representing cyclists, the two cases highlight the injustice of ICBC.

“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 some leverage… In the new world, you can’t claim damages.”

Hay recommends that cyclists wear a body camera for evidence purposes in the event of an accident.

Cycling advocacy group HUB is also speaking out in favor of revising the Motor Vehicle Act to better protect non-motorized drivers.

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