Fault in motorcycle crash remains 50/50, says tribunal

A motorcyclist who claimed he was sideswiped by an impaired driver had his case dismissed due to lack of evidence, according to a recent Civil Resolution Tribunal decision.

Dean Khunkhun was riding with a group of motorcyclists on Highway 1 in Coquitlam when they took the two-lane off-ramp for Highway 7.

According to Khunkhun, a driver sped between him and another motorcyclist. The driver sideswiped Khunkhun, according to his account.

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Khunkhun said his responsibility for the crash should be reduced from 50 to zero percent, in part, he alleged, because the driver was impaired.

Police gave the driver a 90-day Immediate Roadside Prohibition. However, the police report didn’t refer to an arrest, breathalyzer results or an criminal charges, noted tribunal vice-chair Andrea Ritchie.

The driver, who is not named in the decision, claimed the motorcyclists manoeuvred quickly past their vehicle while on the off-ramp. Khunkhun hit the driver’s car on the driver’s side near the back of the vehicle, according to the driver.

With neither driver able to show their version of the crash was more likely, ICBC held both parties 50 percent responsible.

Legal standard

For Khunkhun to win the claim and subsequently have his responsibility for the crash reduced, he needed to prove his case on a balance of probabilities.

To meet that standard, Khunkhun needed to prove both that ICBC “acted improperly or unreasonably” for handing him 50 percent of the responsibility for the crash and: “that he is less responsible for the accident than ICBC assessed.”

Five witnesses?

Khunkhun said he had five witnesses who could account for what happened but that ICBC told him the insurance provider: “cannot take their statements.”

The reports of five witnesses would have been relevant, noted tribunal vice-chair Ritchie.

“The problem for Mr. Khunkhun is he has not provided any witness statements,” Ritchie concluded. “There is also no supporting evidence before me that Mr. Khunkhun tried to submit any witness statements to ICBC, or that ICBC rejected them.”

Ritchie also noted the absence of any independent witness statements or dash cam footage.

Khunkhun’s claim was dismissed.

The role of the Civil Resolution Tribunal

The Civil Resolution Tribunal has jurisdiction over determining accident responsibility. The tribunal has a mandate to provide resolution: “accessibly, quickly, economically, informally, and flexibly.”

The tribunal can hold a hearing in writing, or by telephone, videoconference. In this case, Ritchie deemed an oral hearing unnecessary.


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