CASE LAW - Salo v ICBC

BC Courts Coat of ArmsMatthew Salo was riding his hybrid bicycle and approaching a stop sign at an intersection with North End Road on Saltspring Island. His intention was to slow down and turn right without stopping if traffic permitted. There was a beige SUV stopped at the stop sign intending to turn in the same direction. Circumstances of what actually occurred next are unclear and Mr. Salo has no recollection of the incident himself due to injuries suffered. None the less, he claims negligence on the part of the driver and makes a civil claim against ICBC for damages.

An independent witness observed Mr. Salo in mid-air approximately 10 feet behind the vehicle as the witness passed by it. He was not able to determine if the bicycle had collided with the vehicle and noted no out of the ordinary driving behaviour before or after the incident. It pulled away from the stop sign and left the scene as if nothing had happened. The driver and vehicle were never identified or located after the incident.

Mr. Justice MacKenzie found that

"In this case there is no direct evidence as to what caused Mr. Salo to become airborne when the SUV was stopped at the stop sign. Both counsel have suggested possible scenarios or explanations as to what might have happened, some more fanciful or implausible than others. But, as the defendant asserts, absent any evidence “about the movements of the SUV before the collision”, it would be pure speculation to infer negligence on the part of the SUV driver."

The claim against ICBC was dismissed.

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Comments

Facts?

Bicycle levitation?

Uplifting thought, that - wish there was video!

This is one of these cases where I think you have to read between the lines.

It's my strong impression that Mr Salo was riding irresponsibly/illegally in that situation, and that this led to his having to attempt evasive action when some other road user behaved more or less normally. Then finding himself injured as a consequence of his own actions, our noble cyclist decided to try and get ICBC to pay him.  As much as I detest ICBC's all too frequently belligerent, combative attitude toward anybody who makes an injury claim, in cases like this it's good to know that they will robustly defend against this type of suit.

The "facts"

I'm an experienced rider and it is very unlikely i ran into the back of a stopped vehicle with such force as to split my helmet, break my jaw, collapse my lung and break my neck (no sustained brain injury) knowing the stop sign and, alledgedly, the vehicle was directly in front of me.  The vehicle would have had to pass me shortly before the obvious collision (something ICBC says may have not happened!) as this was on a country road with little traffic and with about 250m of straight stretch before the intersection. As any cyclist knows, and obviouly there is a lack of such in this case and in this forum, cars tend to cut in front of bikes which is likely what haopened.  The judge failed to take these "facts" into account. I call on the witness to come forward with what he realy saw rather than what ICBC's lawyer put into his mind. 10 feet behind the car, indeed.

The Facts

I beleive the bicycle ignorned the stop sign and was travelling at a rate of speed  due to the long stretch before the stop sign. The bicycle attempted to turn while cutting off the SUV. It came in contact with the SUV as it turned, he and his bicycle flew into the air which the witness saw. They were both at fault, the bicycle for not obaying the stop sign, and the SUV for not stopping after collision. If the bicycle had not attempted to circumvent the law by not stopping, I beleive no accident would of occured.

The Facts

Has a bike cut you off before so you carry a grudge? No way would I have cut off a vehicle--I ride very defensively. I have had cars cut me off while riding in Victoria. Car drivers can be very impatient.

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