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Splitting the Bill: Surrey man wins lawsuit against ICBC after 50-50 split with red light runner

Vancouver, British Columbia — A small bit of justice has been done in B.C. this week as a Surrey man won his lawsuit against the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, winning back the damages he was forced to pay when he was hit by a driver running a red light.

Christian Pederson has at long last been re-acquainted with the $8,000 that ICBC charged him following his April 6, 2020 collision.

That incident saw two drivers, Pederson and Gursimran Makkar, collide at the intersection of 72nd Avenue and 122 Street in Surrey.

Both men alleged that the other had run a red light and was at-fault, however, as there were no witnesses reported and the red light cameras at the intersection were allegedly non-functioning, Pederson suggested that he was pressured by ICBC into sharing blame for the incident with Makkar.

Insistent on his innocence, Pederson requested a claims assessment review from ICBC in order to have the data from the black boxes of the two vehicles analyzed.

The data confirmed that Pederson had been stopped at the red light prior to the collision, whereas Makkar was shown to have been travelling 60km/h until braking a mere half-second before the collision.

Pederson felt as though ICBC was blatantly ignoring the evidence that they themselves uncovered and decided to pursue legal action.

“They just wouldn’t look at reason,” said Christian Pedersen, 78.

“I think they were trying to grind me down, in the hopes that I would just go away.”

Pederson decided to file a lawsuit with the civil resolution tribunal.

The tribunal took another look at the evidence and sought to find a ruling based on “whose account of the accident is more consistent with common human experience,” according to tribunal member Eric Regehr.

Following the tribunal’s review, it was found that due to the nature in which Pederson’s vehicle was struck, the evidence “suggests that Mr. Makkar was not paying close attention to the road. If he had, he would have started slowing down sooner.”

It was ruled that, in fact, Makkar had run the red light and would be find 100 percent liable for damages.

Pedersen was then granted ICBC’s maximum of $5,627 for pain and suffering for his neck injuries and $2,300 in accelerated depreciation for his truck (he had claimed $6,000), based on an ICBC estimator’s figure.

“We respect the value of the CRT and accept its decision with this claim,” ICBC spokesman Brent Shearer said in an email.

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