Legal Definitions : J – M


Jaywalking involves walking across a street outside of the normal crosswalks, or walking unlawfully against a signal light. For the most part, jaywalkers assume some, if not all, liability for being struck by a motor vehicle. For example, if a person walks out from between parked cars, leaving the driver of the vehicle who strikes the pedestrian with no time to avoid the accident, then the pedestrian will likely be held fully liable for the accident.


A fictitious name used on a pleading to denote a possible female Defendant, who is unknown at the time of filing.


A fictitious name used on a pleading to denote a possible male Defendant, who is unknown at the time of filing. In the context of ICBC injury claims, such a name is commonly used in hit and run scenarios where the identity of the person is unascertained at the time that litigation is commenced.


Under joint and several liability, all Defendants are collectively and individually liable for the Plaintiff’s damages. Any one of the Defendants can be solely responsible for payment of damages, and it is up to the Defendant who pays to seek contribution from other Defendants.


Two or more persons whose negligence contributes to the damages of another person.


The process by which a jury is selected, which involves a pool of potential jurors being asked questions by counsel and the Court. There can be peremptory challenges by the lawyers without stating a cause. Eventually, the jury is impaneled.


In the context of an ICBC injury claim, a trial in which the case proceeds via judge and jury, rather than by judge alone, with the jury rendering final judgment. In British Columbia, jury trials can be requested by either the Plaintiff or Defendant. With respect to low velocity impacts (LVIS), ICBC normally likes to proceed via a jury.


The process by where a court apportions (assigns) liability to a Plaintiff and Defendant, or between Defendants themselves, for their respective contributions to losses and injuries sustained by the Plaintiff.


Also known as a Guardian Ad Litem, a litigation guardian, normally a parent, assists and acts in the best interests of an infant or legally disabled person throughout the course of their litigation, normally assisted by counsel.


Asking a witness a question at trial which suggests the answer. It is commonly objected to by opposing counsel, but such form of questioning is allowed during cross-examination.


Legal responsibility for one’s acts or omissions. Also known as blame or fault. The Plaintiff must prove liability against the Defendant in order to succeed at trial. The Plaintiff must show that the Defendant owed the Plaintiff a duty of care, that such duty was breached, and that such breach caused the Plaintiff’s losses and injuries.


A period of time within which legal proceedings must be commenced, or a Plaintiff’s claim will be barred from proceeding. In the context of ICBC injury claims, the limitation period is normally two years from the date of the accident. If proceeding in the Supreme Court, a Notice of Civil Claim must be filed in order to preserve the claimant’s legal right to sue.


In the context of an ICBC injury claim, a party to a lawsuit, such as a Plaintiff or Defendant.


The process that begins with the filing of a Notice of Civil Claim, and ends with settlement or judgement at trial. Steps along the away can include exchange of documentation between parties, Examinations for Discovery, interlocutory court applications, trial management conferences, etc …


The inability of the spouse of a Plaintiff to have normal marital relations, due to the physical and emotional injuries suffered by the Plaintiff, which cause changes in the Plaintiff’s life that greatly affect the marriage.


In the context of an ICBC injury claim, loss of use represents the inability to use an automobile due to damage being caused to it by the negligence of another. Depending on the type of loss of use coverage under their ICBC policy, claimants may have rental car coverage to help pay for the use of a rental car until such time that their car is fixed.


A collision between two vehicles that occurs at a low speed. ICBC has an internal policy with respect to a low velocity impact (LVI) in that they deem it to be a non-compensable claim with respect to payment for injuries. The rationale behind the policy is that the claimant could not possibly have been injured due to the low speed of the collision. The courts have historically taken a dim view of the LVI, are are very critical of it. One possible way around an LVI classification is if you have a pre-existing injury to the area of your body that has been injured in the accident. You always have an excellent prospect of success at trial if you are credible, have corroborating medical documentation, and have properly mitigated your damages.


The wrongful inclusion of a Plaintiff or Defendant, or of a cause of action, in the same lawsuit.


A legal obligation of a claimant in an ICBC injury claim. The claimant is expected to take active, reasonable steps in the recovery process to mitigate (lessen or reduce) their damages and losses. Failure to mitigate can sometimes result in a deduction in the overall amount of damages awarded by the Court. In order for ICBC’S lawyer to succeed in an argument that a claimant did not mitigate their damages, it would need to be shown that the claimant acted unreasonably in not following doctor’s orders, and it would need to proven to what extent, if any, that the claimant’s injuries would have been reduced had he or she acted reasonably. A failure to follow the advice of treatment providers is a common allegation made by ICBC’S lawyer when advancing a failure to mitigate argument.