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Burnaby Personal Injury Law Blog

British Columbia trailer spin-out may be cause for wrongful death

They're known as the elephants of the road, and, like elephants, require lots of space, move at a steady, slower pace, and are subject to special rules of the road. In British Columbia, as elsewhere in Canada, semi trucks are not always permitted in the passing lane for motorway safety reasons. Even when a semi driver legitimately ventures into the passing lane, speed must be calculated accordingly in order to avoid mishaps that could end tragically and give rise to the potential of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Recently, just such a deadly scenario occurred near Lac La Hache. Most likely, the final view a northbound motorist had was of two big trucks headed southbound appearing to outpace each other. One, a logging truck in the passing lane, veered so close to the other semi that it scraped it. The contact caused the logging truck's trailer to swing into the northbound lane.

Tragic car accident shuts down British Columbia Sea-to-Sky

When boarding an airplane, some passengers -- more nervous than others -- will choose seats that favour safety over stunning aerial views. By contrast, passengers climbing into a van may pay scant attention to where they sit, despite statistics showing that a car accident is far more likely than an air accident. Sometimes, as on one fateful ride along British Columbia's fabled Sea-to-Sky Highway, there is no seat safe from injury or tragic loss of life.

On a recent Tuesday, the driver of a vehicle carrying six passengers was headed southbound along the bridge toward Whistler. A northbound pickup truck swerved at the turn and crossed over, colliding with the van. According to reports, air and ground ambulances transported six to hospital.

Car accident in British Columbia sets vehicle aflame

No matter what state road conditions are in, some drivers remain oblivious. As such, some accident events cannot be blamed on the extreme weather that continues to dog British Columbia this winter. In a recent car accident, one driver, who apparently didn't know when to quit, left one crash scene only to cause a second collision further on.

Details are sketchy except for the shocking sight of a vehicle aflame on King George Boulevard in Surrey. In all, this driver's apparent recklessness involved four vehicles, including his own. Surrey RCMP are investigating the driver who fled a crash eight blocks away, then struck two more cars with such force that one vehicle caught fire.

British Columbia pedestrian accident leaves child in coma

Many young families in British Columbia choose to live in neighbourhoods where traffic is minimal, largely local and with appropriate speed limits. Sometimes, city planning authorities will forge ahead with enhancements, like bicycle paths, which alter traffic patterns so significantly that a pedestrian accident becomes more, not less, likely. Such a change may have contributed to an 11-year-old being hit by a motor vehicle in front of her own home.

At an intersection dogged by controversy, the young resident was struck down with such force that treating doctors decided to induce coma as a life-saving measure. Well-documented complaints by residents of the Saanich district include obstructed views of the crosswalk, speeding and increased traffic since the addition of a bicycle path on a nearby street. The most recent citizens' request formally urging the need for reduced speed limits was sent only three days before this ill-fated event.

All weather and traffic: British Columbia cyclist hit by a driver

The classic British reply to the question, "how are you?" is "all weather and traffic," usually delivered with a heavy sigh, whereby everyone gets the picture. That's just what's happening in British Columbia this winter, as motorists encounter hazardous road conditions. Still, these above-average snowfalls haven't discouraged cyclists who persist -- like the Pony Express -- through wind, rain, sleet or snow to their destinations. Unfortunately, such a scenario may set the scene for a cyclist being hit by a driver.

In a recent report, the driver of a semi-tractor trailer collided with a 42-year-old cyclist. According to eyewitnesses, the semi driver appeared to be travelling eastbound when the cyclist crossed into the eastbound lane. Visibility may have been a factor, on either side, causing serious injuries to the cyclist. As with many bicycle accidents involving a big vehicle, it would be the precise facts of the event that would benefit from the resources and experience of a personal injury lawyer.

Near miss in British Columbia causes pedestrian accident

Ever since the advent of pop psychology and the Me Generation, there have been labels assigned to the following generations, such as Generation X or millennials. In British Columbia, our young people are sometimes chided, in print or online, for self-centered or irresponsible behaviour. In a recent case, the quick and selfless action of a teenager saved a friend from becoming a casualty in a pedestrian accident.

It was mid-morning in Kamloops when the two young teens were walking along a local road. A semi driver attempted to turn southbound onto the roadway, dangerously mounting the curb. It is unclear which of the two girls was more in jeopardy but the semi driver fled, seemingly oblivious or uncaring that his reckless actions had endangered the lives of two pedestrians. One of the teens reacted instantly, and perhaps without thought of her own safety, pushed her friend out of the oncoming rig's path.

Loss of British Columbia youngster may lead to wrongful death

Increasingly in major cities, public transit has become the poster child of environmentalist progress, promising diminished urban pollution. City buses filled with British Columbia citizens enjoying comparatively stress-free travel from point A to point B implicitly trust their professionally trained bus drivers to proceed without mishap. When the bus they're riding in suddenly strikes down a child, many might wonder whether the child's parents would consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

On a Friday, just about the time weekday school bells chime, a nine-year-old traversing a crosswalk was hit by a city bus. The young girl later died of her injuries. Previously, a crossing guard had been present at the Abbotsford intersection. The job had recently been outsourced, but no crossing guard was found at the scene. A school district spokesperson commented that local authorities were looking into why the crosswalk was unmonitored on that fatal morning.

Pedestrian accident rate in British Columbia spikes in winter

Once drivers shift into gear, their mindset switches seamlessly to steering a big hunk of steel up and down motorways, with all due caution. When they step out of a car, even for a minute, they become, for all intents and purposes, pedestrians. Sometimes, they neglect to switch to the pedestrian mindset, which requires a different awareness of the vehicles circulating nearby. These were the circumstances in a recent incident in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, where an elderly driver lost his life in what was reported as a pedestrian accident.

How many of us as drivers have been annoyed when fierce wind and rain have obstructed our path with garbage or recycling bins and the like? Driving along 9th Avenue, a senior encountered debris and found no way to detour around it or avoid it, so he exited his vehicle to clear it away. At the same moment, a driver turning left at the McBride Street intersection struck him down. He later died from his injuries.

Wrongful death in British Columbia depends on many variables

What is newsworthy in our culture is reported and carried by several sources, each offering a different angle or approach to the same news item. One of the main criteria for what makes the news is based on how well a news story captures attention. Invariably, death by misadventure or accident makes headlines in British Columbia, gaining momentum when questions about fault arise, creating the potential for wrongful death litigation.

Unlike the immediacy of news reporting, police investigations take time. Factors such as excessive speed, driver distraction, impaired driving, and deliberate recklessness must all be evaluated. Eyewitness accounts are especially important, particularly when, as in a recent case, a fatal vehicle collision occurs at the intersection of a remote rural highway. Last weekend, the driver of a pick-up truck was declared dead at the scene following a crash with a tractor-trailer on the Old Cariboo Highway.

Potential for wrongful death on Remembrance Day sadly common

It's hard to fathom why the number of car accidents spikes during three-day weekend holidays. The Nov. 11 statutory holiday shows close to a 35 per cent rise in vehicle collisions, in British Columbia and elsewhere. A time set aside for sober reflection on the loss of war veterans, the day takes on an added poignancy when it marks the death of a young adult in a car crash. The bereaved family of the victim might consider the potential for a wrongful death lawsuit in appropriate circumstances.

Complete details have not yet emerged but a recent accident took the life of a young woman and sent two men to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Along with a front-seat passenger, the 20-year-old victim was in the back seat of the demolished vehicle. According to accounts, their northbound driver ignored a stop sign and caused a collision with a westbound car.

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