Judge believes driver's story of Delta crash over ICBC's version

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A B.C. judge has ruled that a young man's explanation of an accident in Delta two years ago is more convincing than ICBC's version of events.

Sardar Akbari was 18 and had recently gotten his "N" driver's licence when he crashed his car into a light standard on Nordel Way near 84 Avenue.

While Akbari testified the accident happened because he was avoiding a car that had pulled out in front of him, ICBC argued there was no second vehicle involved, and that Akbari simply lost control, perhaps due to speed or wet road conditions, and hit the pole.

ICBC also alleged Akbari failed to make much effort to identify the driver of the car he claimed caused the accident, and was therefore not entitled to damages for his injuries.

Akbari said he tried to identify the driver – who didn't stop at the accident scene – by not only asking Delta police if there was an intersection camera but by posting a sign at the scene asking potential witnesses to come forward.

A passenger in Akbari's car, Jose Perez, also corroborated his story that another car cut them off.

In a Nov. 23 decision posted online this week, Madam Justice Wendy Baker said it was "more probable than not" that the accident was caused by an unidentified driver who ran a red light and cut off Akbari.

"I found the testimony of Mr. Akbari and and Mr. Perez about how the accident happened to be credible and persuasive," said Baker. "I am satisfied that ... Mr. Akbari was forced to take evasive action to avoid colliding with the vehicle crossing his path; and that in doing so, his vehicle swerved on the wet roadway, spun out of control, and collided with the light standard."

She said she didn't believed Akbari was speeding or that he failed to meet the standards of a prudent driver, and that he had made all reasonable efforts to identify the unknown driver.

In addition to cuts and abrasions from broken glass, Akbari suffered soft tissue damage to his left calf, knee and thigh.

Akbari was awarded $13,622 – $12,000 for non-pecuniary damages, $1,237 for two weeks of missed work and $385 for medications and physiotherapy. He had asked for $25,000 in compensation.

The judge said Akbari had made a full recovery and his capacity to earn future income was not impaired, nor was there any evidence there would be any cost for future care.


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