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The Case of the “Inevitable Accident”

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Here is an unfortunate scenario. You are driving along paying attention to the road as you enjoy the scenery of your drive. When suddenly, another car crosses the median and hits you head on, causing you to receive extensive damage to your car, and even worse, a severely broken arm. As it turns out, you find out that the driver of the other car suffered a heart attack a few moments before he lost control of the car.

You miss an extended period off work, endure multiple surgeries and a case of chronic pain for a year.

Are you entitled to compensation?

As the innocent victim, your natural response is “Yes!”. However, the case may not so be so straightforward. If the heart attack was sudden, unprecedented and not predictable, ICBC can claim that the driver was not negligent and therefore that ICBC is not responsible for compensating you. The term of law for this defence is called “inevitable accident” and it is a very effective and complete defence.

There are some clever strategies to skirt around this defence but it can be real challenge. An injured person in this situation should consult a well experienced lawyer who will have the knowledge and ability to formulate a defence in this, and other complex legal situations.