A Vancouver cyclist is speaking out over a $3,700 bill he says he got from ICBC, after he was hit by a vehicle while riding on a bike route last summer.
Ben Bolliger told Global News he was struck by a driver who ran a stop sign while cycling to get lunch at Granville Island in July.
The collision sent him flying 14 metres and left him with with multiple injuries.
“My foot was broken, my hand was broken; I have a metal plate in here now,” he told Global News.
He said he was shocked when eight months into his recovery, he received a letter from ICBC demanding $3,752.01.
The letter states that Bolliger was driving an uninsured vehicle at the time of the collision, meaning he must pay for the insured driver’s repair claim.
“It’s a punch in the gut. It really is a punch in the gut,” Bolliger said. “How am I on the hook for getting hit by a car?”
Erik Magraken, an injury lawyer and managing partner with MacIsaac and Company, said even under B.C.’s new no-fault-style insurance, fault still matters when it comes to determining who pays the deductible on property and vehicle damage.
“When ICBC makes an allegation that somebody owes them money, they’re not the judge, jury, executioner,” he said.
“And the cyclist run over by a vehicle running a stop sign — if that’s what happened — is not responsible for any of the property damage.”
ICBC would not address the specific case, but in a statement said the handling of matters of this type had not changed under the new “Enhanced Care” insurance model.
“If a party is assessed as partially responsible for a claim, they could be responsible for some of the damages to the vehicle,” the public insurer said.
“This process hasn’t changed with the introduction of Enhanced Care.”
But Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee said cases like Bolliger’s are becoming more common, now that cyclists and other uninsured individuals do not have the ability to sue ICBC or insured drivers under the new insurance model.
“It gives ICBC all the power, and what we see when ICBC has the power is they try and get as much money from people as they can and save themselves from paying out as much money as they can when it comes to a claim,” Lee said.
Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Wednesday that he would ensure the case was reviewed.
“I have asked ICBC to look into this particular case,” he said.
“I do know that in all of these kinds of situations the individual’s health care and recovery costs are all covered.”
In the meantime, Bolliger, who will never regain full motion in his right hand, said he feels he’s already paid enough.
“It adds insult to injury,” he said. “Literally adds insult to injury.”