Ben Bollinger was shocked when he was billed $3700 after he was hit by a motorist in July of 2021. Turns out, he never should have been. The Vancouver project manager in public health and cyclist was hit when motorist ran a stop sign on a bike route. Bolliger’s right side and arm was heavily injured and he will never have full range of motion again. He’s had a surgery (and possibly another) as well as 26 physio sessions at Vancouver General Hospital, plus follow-ups and X-rays with a surgeon. On top of that, he’s also had a CT scan, 10 functional rehab sessions and two splints.
He then had a long battle with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), the province’s government-owned insurance company. After getting nowhere, he fought back and went to media Eventually the insurance company contacted his lawyers and advised them that they would like to withdraw the bill for the repairs to the car. ICBC also offered to pay $2,500 toward Ben’s damaged bike. However, when his lawyers asked how ICBC compensate Bolliger for both the permanent injury to his arm and the $19,000 dollars in lost income, a spokesperson for ICBC explained that there is no obligation to pay for this under a no-fault system.
Bolliger filed a freedom of information request to learn more about the process. What he learned was shocking. “On May 8th, I received the FOI docs I requested, 266 pages. It clearly shows that ICBC’s own claims adjuster ruled that the driver of the car that ran the stop sign and hit me was 100 per cent at fault in October. This was overruled by middle management days later,” he tweeted.
Not only that, but The evidence from witnesses, the amount of damage and severity of his injuries and ICBC’s own assessment at the time all indicated the driver was at fault.
“Despite this, management overruled the original determination. It shows a systemic problem with ICBC’s ability to be judge, jury and prosecutor when determining fault. We have no choice and no legal recourse,” he posted. “ICBC has offered me $2675.04 to replace my bike, helmet and cellphone. And only if I sign a release promising to never seek legal action against them or the driver who hit me. Forget about never having full use of my right arm again. That is it. That is all.”
Bolliger closed by saying that he can’t sue ICBC under the new no-fault regime, and he has zero legal recourse.