Designated driver denied compensation by ICBC

ICBC insurance allows drivers and passengers in motor vehicle accidents to claim compensation when they are injured by another driver’s negligence. However, it was not intended to insure people from other types of accidents. For example, if someone negligently hits a person in the head with a baseball, ICBC won’t cover the damages. ICBC will only cover the damages when the party who caused the damages was “using or operating” a vehicle.

How far does this extend? In a recent case, it was the drunken passenger of a vehicle who caused the accident. The passenger grabbed the steering wheel, causing the vehicle to veer off the road. The designated driver suffered significant injuries. She sued for compensation and wanted ICBC to cover the damages. She said that the passenger was “using or operating” the vehicle, because he was steering the car. However, ICBC said that the passenger was not “using or operating” the car as a driver would, and therefore, it claimed that it did not have to cover the damages.

The case was decided in favour of ICBC. As a result of the decision, designated drivers in BC may not be covered by their ICBC insurance policy if their passengers become unruly and cause an accident.

Personal injury cases can involve many legal nuances. To avoid missing out on compensation due to a technicality, it is best to meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can thoroughly evaluate your case. If you have been involved in an accident, our ICBC lawyers can offer you a free consultation.

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