27 Jun Defendant is a Novice “N” Driver

What are some of the issues a Court looks at when the motor vehicle accident is caused by a novice driver?  The case of Nahal v. Ram, 2016 BCSC 39, involved a novice driver involved in a single vehicle accident.

The Plaintiff was a passenger in the Defendant’s vehicle, along with three other friends.  The Defendant had his novice driver “N” designation and was driving his father’s vehicle. The group had gone to a driving range and were headed to one of the passenger’s houses.  On the way there, the passenger indicated to the Defendant that he had had missed his street.  In response, the Defendant made a sharp turn and hit a tree.

ICBC argued that the Plaintiff knew or ought to have known that the Defendant was a poor or reckless driver, and that he violated the conditions of his “N” license.  ICBC argued that this made the Plaintiff contributorily negligent and the Court ought to reduce his damages.

The Court rejected ICBC’s argument.  Although the Plaintiff knew the Defendant was a novice driver and the vehicle had more than the allowed one passenger, the Court found there was no evidence that this caused or contributed to the collision and there was no evidence the Plaintiff knew the Defendant was a poor or reckless driver.   As a result, the Defendant was 100% responsible for the Plaintiff’s damages.

The Court awarded the following damages to the Plaintiff:

Non-pecuniary damages$100,000.00
Loss of future earning capacity$406,400.00
Cost of future care$5,000.00
Past wage loss (as agreed)$87,122.00
Special damages$753.01       


At Acheson Sweeney Foley Sahota, we have over 35 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims.  Let us help you with yours.