Court of Appeal Discusses BC Apology Act

In the first case that I’m aware from the BC Court of Appeal discussing BC’s Apology Act, reasons for judgement were released today addressing this statute in the face of post collision conduct.
In today’s case (Vance v. Cartwright) the Plaintiff was found fully at fault following motorcycle/vehicle collision.  The Plaintiff appealed arguing the trial judge erred in allowing an apology into evidence.  The BC Court of Appeal upheld the trial judgement finding the trial judge did not place any weight on the Plaintiff’s post crash apology in the reasons underlying the claims dismissal.  In commenting on BC’s Apology Act the Court of Appeal provided the following reasons:

[5]           Section 1 of the Act defines “apology” as follows:

“apology” means an expression of sympathy or regret, a statement that one is sorry or any other words or actions indicating contrition or commiseration, whether or not the words or actions admit or imply an admission of fault in connection with the matter to which the words or actions relate.

[6]           Section 2 provides:

2(1)      An apology made by or on behalf of a person in connection with any matter

(a)        does not constitute an express or implied admission of fault or liability by the person in connection with that matter,

(d)        must not be taken into account in any determination of fault or liability in connection with that matter.

(2)        Despite any other enactment, evidence of an apology made by or on behalf of a person in connection with any matter is not admissible in any court as evidence of the fault or liability of the person in connection with that matter.

[7]           It is contended that Mr. Vance’s statement that he was sorry and that the accident was all his fault, as well as his later payment of $1,000, constituted an apology or apologies as defined by the Act which the judge took into account in determining fault.

[8]           Accepting for present purposes that what Mr. Vance said and did amounts to an apology as defined, I do not consider the judge can be said to have taken it into account in the sense of treating it as an admission or acknowledgement of fault. His clear purpose for referring to what was said was only to explain why no photograph of the position of Ms. Cartwright’s vehicle had been taken to establish where it had been stopped when Mr. Vance crashed into its left rear fender.

[9]           Nowhere in his reasons does the judge even suggest he was relying on what Mr. Vance said or did after the accident as the basis of finding him at fault. His reasoning is all based on the evidence and his findings of what occurred before the collision – speed, distance, line of sight, and the conduct of Mr. Vance and Ms. Cartwright.

[10]        Significance is attached to the judge having said Mr. Vance was fearful and not thinking clearly following the accident and that his behavior was nonetheless remarkable, not consistent with someone whose life had been put in jeopardy by the actions of another. But that appears to me to be little more than a comment on his confused state of mind following the accident. If anything, the judge appears to have been discounting the significance of what Mr. Vance said and did. In any event, it is not indicative of the judge having wrongfully relied on, or taken into account, anything that occurred after the accident to find Mr. Vance at fault: quite the contrary.

[11]        I conclude the judge has not been shown to have found Mr. Vance to be solely at fault for the accident in any way that would offend the provisions of the Act.

Apology Act, bc injury law, Vance v. Cartwright

Comments (47)

  • I simply want to tell you that I’m very new to weblog and honestly liked you’re blog site. Probably I’m want to bookmark your site . You absolutely have tremendous articles and reviews. Thanks a bunch for sharing your blog site.

  • Great website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get comments from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Many thanks!

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own website now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a great example of it.

  • Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too great. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous website.

  • Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people consider worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. Nevertheless think about if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this blog could definitely be one of the most beneficial in its field. Very good blog!

  • Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • I am curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any recommendations?

  • Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Many thanks!

  • Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

  • Good post and right to the point. I don’t know if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  • A formidable share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of evaluation on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If possible, as you become experience, would you thoughts updating your weblog with more particulars? It is extremely useful for me. Huge thumb up for this blog submit!

  • Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided vibrant clear concept

  • Hey there, You have performed an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  • I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

  • My wife and i got so comfortable Ervin could do his investigations while using the ideas he grabbed out of your weblog. It’s not at all simplistic just to be giving out secrets and techniques that many people may have been trying to sell. And we recognize we need the blog owner to thank for this. Most of the illustrations you’ve made, the easy website navigation, the friendships your site aid to foster – it is mostly wonderful, and it is helping our son in addition to the family believe that this theme is thrilling, which is certainly quite indispensable. Many thanks for the whole thing!

  • It is perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve learn this submit and if I may just I want to counsel you some fascinating issues or tips. Maybe you can write next articles regarding this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  • Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this website.

  • Thanks for your posting. I also believe laptop computers have become more and more popular nowadays, and now will often be the only kind of computer used in a household. The reason being at the same time they are becoming more and more reasonably priced, their working power is growing to the point where these are as robust as pc’s through just a few in years past.

  • Can I simply say what a reduction to find someone who really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know tips on how to bring an issue to light and make it important. Extra people have to learn this and perceive this facet of the story. I cant consider youre not more standard because you positively have the gift.

  • I just couldn’t depart your site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is going to be back often to check up on new posts

  • I really enjoy reading through on this web site , it contains superb posts . “Dream no small dreams. They have no power to stir the souls of men.” by Victor Hugo.

  • I have read some excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to create this kind of magnificent informative site.

  • Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

  • I think other site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and great user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

Comments are closed.


If you would like further information or require assistance, please get in touch.


Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

“Work hard, be kind and enjoy the ride!”
Erik’s Philosophy