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Richmondite accuses ICBC of reducing claim due to driver being a ‘nice man’

Soheil August Biniaz says his mother, Manijeh Dalirazar, was hit by a motorcyclist while riding her bike last summer
Manijeh Dalirazar Richmond
Manijeh Dalirazar (pictured), who runs Royalty B&B in Richmond, was hit by a motorcyclist while riding her bike, according to her son Soheil August Biniaz, who is questioning ICBC's decision-making process for his mother's claim.

A Richmond man is questioning ICBC’s decision-making process after he claims an adjustor said the motorcyclist who ran into his mother was a “nice” and “decent” man and that her claim amount would be reduced.

Soheil August Biniaz said his mother, 67-year-old Manijeh Dalirazar, who runs Royalty B&B in Richmond, was making a left turn on her bicycle from River Road onto McCallan Road in July 2020 when she was hit by a motorcycle travelling in the same direction.

The driver stopped and spoke to his mom, but once he saw she was getting up, he left – without calling for an ambulance or offering his insurance or contact information, said Biniaz.

“He never gave his licence to her, never shared information. Luckily my mom got up and took a picture of his licence plate… And that’s how things came about,” he said. “So, we thought right away that the decent thing to do would have been for (the motorcycle driver) to either call an ambulance, call the police, to make sure my mom is okay and walk her home…or at the bare minimum to file a claim, at least call ICBC.”

The claim falls under ICBC’s previous insurance model as it took place before May 1, 2021, when enhanced care came into effect.

Biniaz said they reported the incident to ICBC a day or two after the accident, but said the initial process was “interrogatory,” as the agency questioned their story, saying it didn’t make sense.

It turns out the man who drove the bike on the day of the accident was not its owner – his daughter was, said Biniaz, which ICBC was later able to confirm. However, the agency had questioned their story because of that.

Biniaz said they finally received a decision from the adjustor earlier this month, but he is concerned about how that decision appears to have been made.

“She (the adjustor) said…in my investigation, and in my talks with the motorcycle driver – in my investigation, he’s a very nice man, he’s a decent man, he’s a chiropractor, (and) his story is a bit different than your mom’s. He said that your mom, rather than turning left, just erratically jumped in front of his bike, so we believe him,” said Biniaz.

The motorcyclist told ICBC he remained at the scene and offered to exchange information, a spokesperson for the insurance agency told the Richmond News in a statement. He also reportedly didn’t notice any damage to the bike and “observed the cyclist get on her bike and ride away with no indication of any injuries.”

Biniaz added that the adjustor told him his mother would be receiving 50 per cent of the maximum claim amount of about $5,500, which he doesn’t believe is fair.

While she didn’t have major injuries such as a broken bone, Biniaz said his mother was bruised up and down her side, and still has a bit of a limp from the incident and has to regularly visit a chiropractor. He added that her bed-and-breakfast work is physically intensive.  

“My four complaints would be the time it took, the initial process of the investigation, the final decision that was made, the amount the cap was reduced because of the niceness of the (motorcyclist), and then the amount of the cap itself.”

Determining liability 'complex': ICBC

Determining liability “can be complex,” the ICBC spokesperson told the News in a statement.

“We assess the facts presented and review all objective evidence available. We consider the rules of the road, physical evidence and witness statements. In this case, the two parties involved gave different descriptions of what occurred, and there were no independent witnesses to help determine which version of the incident was more likely to be accurate.”

ICBC said that before it accepts an injury claim, the claimant must provide sufficient evidence of an injury, and that it’s a direct result of the crash.

The insurance agency said it explained to Dalirazar, Binaz’ mother, that her injuries fell under the minor injury cap of $5,627, and she received $2,813.50 based on the 50/50 liability decision.

“We also advised the customer that she could continue with her therapy as needed and we provided information on how to dispute her claim through the Civil Resolution Tribunal process,” the ICBC spokesperson said.

Biniaz said they may decide to appeal the decision.

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