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Are BC’s Cyclists on the Road to Ruin?

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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Are you a cyclist?

If so what happened to Claude Ritchie might happen to you! http://www.theprovince.com/life/Cyclist+ordered+rode+into+Burnaby+trail/9532282/story.html

Claude is the cyclist who was ordered to pay $226k in compensation last week after a BC Supreme Court Trial Judgement found that he was negligent in an accident involving a pedestrian.

The case dates back to May 2007 when Ritchie lost control of his bike on a trail in Burnaby Central Park and ran into the back of pedestrian John Jang. Jang suffered a broken wrist, an awful injury for anyone to experience. But Jang isn’t just anyone. He’s one of the Lower Mainland’s most prominent sushi chef’s, and despite the best efforts of the surgeons at Burnaby Hospital the injury proved career ending.

What followed is a familiar story for anyone who’s been injured in an accident. Unable to work Jang, a father of two, was forced to borrow money from the bank in order to make ends meet. He’ll most likely never work as a sushi chef again and will have to suffer his injuries for the rest of his life.

In that regard then the judge’s decision to award him $226k compensation – which includes $80,000 for pain and suffering, $79,000 for past wage loss and $65,000 for future wage loss – should be seen as a win for Mr Jang.

But it’s not.

You see there’s a twist.

Unlike motorists, BC’s cyclists aren’t required to carry third party liability insurance. That means that, without insurance involved, Mr Jang might never see a penny for his settlement. And as for Ritchie, the cyclist who’s actions caused the accident; he might find his assets seized in order to pay the judgement.

Put simply, everyone loses.

So cyclists beware! Without insurance you’re not protected, and you too could find yourself on the hook for any injuries you may cause to a pedestrian as a result of an accident.

It’s tragic for everyone involved. So please, PLEASE be careful while out and about. After all you never know what’s going to be around the next corner.


Category: Pedestrian Accidents

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