Servient Driver Found 100% at Fault for Intersection Collision

Reasons for Judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing the issue of fault for an intersection collision.
In today’s case (Minosky v. Brar) the motorists were involved in a two vehicle collision.  They both claimed the other was at fault and both sued each other.  Both trials were heard at the same time.
The collision occurred at the intersection of 121st Street and 64th Avenue in Surrey, BC.  The Minosky vehicle was heading northbound on 121st.  He was faced with a stop sign.  The Brar vehicle was heading in the ‘fast’ eastbound through lane on 64th.  As the Minosky vehicle attempted to drive through the intersection he struck the Brar vehicle.

Madam Justice Brown found the Minosky vehicle 100% at fault for the collision for failing to yield the right of way and not complying with the duty set out in s. 175 of the Motor Vehicle Act.  In coming to this conclusion the Court provided the following useful reasons:

[8] I conclude that the Brar vehicle was much closer than Mr. Minosky believed it to be when he left the intersection.  It was an immediate hazard.  Ms. Brar was not speeding and was attending to traffic.  She had no opportunity to stop and avoid the collision.

[9] Mr. Minosky argues that, based on Ms. Brar’s estimates of speed and distance, Ms. Brar would have had ample opportunity to avoid Mr. Minosky’s vehicle if she saw him moving out from the stop sign.  Mr. Minosky argues that Ms. Brar said that she was some two to five car lengths from Mr. Minosky when she concluded that he wasn’t going to stop.  Had this been so, she would have travelled by Mr. Minosky before he had an opportunity to enter her lane of travel.

[10] This argument places too much weight on Ms. Brar’s estimates of distance.  When she first concluded that Mr. Minosky was not going to stop, it would have been an emergency situation.  She said she slammed on her brakes and honked, but was not able to avoid the collision.  In these circumstances, I do not expect that a person would be able to measure with precision the distance between her vehicle and the vehicle with which she was about to collide.  I give little weight to Ms. Brar’s estimates of distance.  Many people are poor judges of distance.  However, I do accept her evidence of how the collision happened.

[11] Section 175 of the Motor Vehicle Act places the burden on Mr. Minosky to yield to traffic that is approaching so closely that it constitutes an immediate hazard.  Mr. Minosky has not satisfied me that he yielded as required.  Rather, I have concluded that when he entered the intersection, the Brar vehicle was an immediate hazard.  I find that Mr. Minosky is 100% at fault.

fault, intersection collisions, liability, Madam Justice Brown, Minosky v. Brar, Section 175 Motor Vehicle Act

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ERIK
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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.

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