Were you in an Accident?
Were you injured in an “Accident” other than a slip and fall or typical motor vehicle collision?
Many people have been involved in incidents outside of a slip and fall or ‘typical’ motor vehicle collision, and wonder whether they have any legal recourse against the wrongdoer.
Below are two very unique examples of cases that were considered motor vehicle “accidents:”
a)Woman riding a bicycle hits a parked vehicle and becomes injured:
A woman riding her bicycle is forced to ride onto a sidewalk, because the main streets of her town are closed for a festival. This sidewalk is partially blocked by a parked vehicle. As the woman attempts to maneuver herself around the parked vehicle, she loses her balance, falls and hits the vehicle, sustaining serious injuries. These are essentially the facts in DiMarco vs. Chubb Insurance Company of Canada. The insurance company in this case tried to argue that the incident should not be considered a motor vehicle “accident.”
However, Arbitrator Pressman found that the parked vehicle set in motion a chain of events that directly resulted in Ms. DiMarco’s fall, with no further intervening act that would have otherwise caused her injury. Overall, Ms. DiMarco’s injuries were considered the result of a motor vehicle “accident” despite not involving the ‘operation of a motor vehicle’ in the literal sense of the word.
b) Pedestrian falls to ground after being shocked by a bus that “almost” hit him:
In Hersi v. ACE INA Insurance, Arbitrator Bujold had a difficult task to determine whether an “accident” had caused Mr. Hersi’s injuries, including a fracture hip. In this case, Mr. Hersi was a pedestrian who fell to the ground after being shocked by a bus that nearly came into direct contact with him. Arbitrator Bujold held that Mr. Hersi was involved in an “accident.”
It is clear from this decision, and the law, that there does not need to be direct contact between and automobile and an injured person for there to be an “accident,” provided that “the automobile is a dominant feature in the incident and not ancillary to it.”
Both of the aforementioned cases are two examples of very unique accidents, which do not fall within the “typical” description of a motor vehicle collision. If you or your loved ones were involved in an incident that leaves you questioning whether it will be considered an “accident” for insurance purposes, it is in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine your legal entitlements.