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League and Williams Lawyers
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We're doing another facebook giveaway for those who like our facebook page and this time it's Beyonce and Jay-Z tickets for the Oct. 2 show in Vancouver! For details go to our facebook page:
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Our Victoria, BC office is up for a Best of the City Award for Best Law Firm. If you have a moment we'd love to have you vote for us! Doing so easy, just follow the link and click vote.
Victoria News - Contest
Victoria News - Contest
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We've been nominated for a Best of the City award for best law firm in Victoria and we'd love it if you'd like to vote for us - it's easy just follow the link below and vote for League and Williams Lawyers:
Victoria News - Contest
Victoria News - Contest
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Never assume a waiver will bar an injury claim. While they are often effective, it is wise to seek legal advice drafting waivers, it is also wise to seek legal advice before assuming that the right to sue has been foregone:
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We're hiring! League and Williams Lawyers in Vic West, Victoria, BC seeks permanent full-time legal assistant in busy personal injury and civil litigation practice. Experience preferred. Positive attitude and strong work ethic key. Top tier pay, free parking, gym pass and benefits. Exceptional work environment in restored convenient shopping plaza. Start March 30th or sooner. Please forward your resume to the attention of: Natasha Gordon, #210-174 Wilson Street, Victoria B.C. V9A 7N6 or by email at:

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Holiday Cheer May Bring Legal Liabilities

Welcome to this week’s video blog on the law. As the holiday season approaches many people and businesses plan on hosting holiday parties. Most of these parties involve serving alcohol, which in turn gives rise to certain legal responsibilities for the host of the party. This area of law is called “social host liability”, and in this week’s video blog I will outline some important points of social host liability.

What is Social Host Liability?

In 2006, Canada’s highest court found that a social host does not, as a general rule, have a duty to protect the public from a guest who consumes alcohol. That case involved someone who hosted a house party, and told their guests to bring their own booze. The host did not serve any alcohol, and did not see that one of the guests was intoxicated before the guest left the party and badly injured another person in a car accident. However, the court’s decision would likely have been different if the host was serving alcohol to its guests, or the host saw that the guest was intoxicated when they left the party.

People who serve alcohol as part of their business, such as restaurants and pubs, do have a duty to the general motoring public to ensure people they serve alcohol to do not pose an unreasonable risk to others. Most businesses address this duty by training their staff to monitor customers drinking and providing means to access safe rides home.

Also employers who host holiday office parties also owe a duty to their employees because there is generally an expectation of supervision in an employment relationship, and this supervision often includes what people do at office parties. On the other hand, people who are hosting a house party for friends may owe a duty to people who might be harmed by their guests if the host is providing alcohol to their guests, or they observe their guests to be intoxicated when they leave the party. These duties means that if someone is hurt as a result of not complying with a duty, they can be sued.

5 Tips to Keep Holiday Cheer from Turning into Legal Liabilities

If you are hosting a Christmas party, particularly if you are an employer who is hosting a party for your employees, here are some quick tips to help address your duty to reduce the risk of harm coming to others:

1. Choose you party location wisely.

Avoid having your party in a location where you know it is difficult for people to obtain safe rides home from. If you are an employer, try to have your party at a licensed establishment, such as a restaurant or pub. The duty the business has to safely serve and monitor guests is greater than the duty of the employer to monitor their guests, and will help to protect people from guests who have too much to drink.

2. If you have an open bar, staff the bar with a qualified bar tender

If it is decided to host your party somewhere other than a licensed commercial establishment such as a restaurant or pub, it is wise to staff the bar with someone who is qualified to be a bar tender. A counter full of booze for people to help themselves is generally a bad idea. You do not need to track people’s drinks by having “drink tickets”, but someone who is tasked with serving drinks that can monitor those who appear impaired will help protect that person, and others, from harm. If you are an employer that is paying for the alcohol, you should either provide drink tickets to limit the consumption, or close the “open bar” well before the end of the party to prevent over consumption. An employer paying for unlimited alcohol is far more responsible for its effects than an employer who limits it availability.

3. Serve food throughout the evening,

Serving food throughout the evening will not only reduce the effects of alcohol consumed, but will also typically reduce the amount of alcohol consumed.

4. Always have options for your guests to find a safe ride home.

You cannot force a guest to accept a safe ride home, but making them available goes a long ways to avoiding harm. If you invite a friend who you know likes to drink, think ahead about how you will help get them home, don’t leave it until the end of the night to figure out. Make it easy for your guests to make good decisions about getting home safely.

5. Invite the family, or at least the spouse or significant other.

The purpose of holiday office parties, is of course to celebrate a year’s work well done. As a result, holiday office parties often involve a great deal of cheer and enthusiasm by employees, particularly when alcohol is involved. Accidents and even conflicts are not uncommon, but people tend to drink less or at least behave better, when their spouses are around, and particularly if their children are present. Guests often still enjoy their drinks, but to less of an extreme if their family is there.

Wishing Everyone a Merry (and Safe) Holiday Season and New Year

In closing, nobody likes a party pooper but nothing wrecks a holiday season more than a death or injury that could have been avoided. All of us at League and Williams, wish all of you a merry (and safe) holiday season. I hope you have learned something about the law from this blog. Please feel free to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, or subscribe to our Youtube channel to receive notice of our future weekly video blogs on the law.

If you have been in an accident, do not hesitate to contact us at 250-888-0002 or via email at

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Who fetches the bill for acts of dog when those acts result in personal injury or property damage? Darren Williams discusses in this week's blog:
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We're hiring! League and Williams’ Victoria BC office is seeking a lawyer to assume a busy 40-year solicitor’s practice in estate planning and administration, conveyancing, and general corporate work. We offer a great work environment and support, modern resources, extended benefits, and consistent marketing that draws excellent work from across the province. Guaranteed salary and profit sharing model. Preferable candidates will bring 3 or more years of experience and be willing to hit the ground running with a busy practice in March, 2018.  Contact in confidence.
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You’ve had a car accident at work – so do you have to make a claim through WCB (Worksafe)? Or do you have the option to make a claim through ICBC? What are the pros and cons of each type of claim?

When should a person claim through WCB for a car accident while working?

There are some circumstances when a person should make a claim through WCB if they are in a car accident while working. These circumstances include:
• Being involved in a single vehicle collision (for example, your car has run off the road and struck a tree) when nobody else is at fault, or;
• Being injured by another motorist who was also operating their vehicle as part of their work at the time of the accident, or;
• Being at fault for the accident themselves.

When can a worker choose whether to claim through ICBC or WCB?

When a worker is injured in a car accident while working, and the person who caused the accident was not working at the time, then that worker can choose whether to claim through either WCB, or ICBC. That is, they have the option, or what we call an election.

If you do claim through WCB, what can be expected?

If you must make a claim through WCB, then WCB should be expected to pay for:
• All of the reasonable (in Worksafe's opinion) rehabilitation expenses, and;
• 90% of the wage loss experienced after the accident.

However, many people become frustrated with the WCB process and find that they do not receive the medical treatment they need because WCB terminates benefits. WCB may argue that the condition was preexisting the accident, or that the injuries have become permanent and therefore do not qualify as an ongoing claim. Many people are shocked to discover that any injuries persisting for more than 6 months are considered permanent by WCB. Seemingly endless reviews and appeals are not uncommon in WCB claims, and injured workers often simply give up on the process out of frustration.

If you have the option of claiming through ICBC, what can be expected?

On the other hand, if the accident was not the fault of the injured worker, there may be advantages to making an ICBC claim instead of a WCB claim. By making an ICBC claim a person not at fault for their injuries could expect to recover:
• All of their medical expenses;
• 100% of their wage loss (both past wage losses as well as expected future wage losses); and
• Compensation for pain and suffering (often a significant award that is not available from WCB).

Additional monies for pain and suffering can be thousands of dollars per month for each month the injury persists.

However, this compensation must wait until your ICBC claim is fully resolved through either settlement or a court judgment.  In other, words, if you elect to go through ICBC when you could have made a WCB claim, ICBC does not have to pay you any wage loss or medical expenses until your claim is fully settled or heard by the court.  On that note, it is important to appreciate two things:
1. Almost all (98%) of cases settle without going to court, and;
2. Some law firms, such as ours, pay for the medical expenses that ICBC does not pay for until your claim is resolved.

Making the Choice between WCB or ICBC

When a person is not at fault for an accident, total compensation received from making an ICBC claim will typically be far greater than making a WCB claim, but a person will have to wait longer for that compensation. That said, when recovering from any injury, being patient is always the best strategy.

If you have a question about this issue, or another legal topic, please contact us for a free consultation. We may be reached at 250-888-0002 or via email at – we are Victoria, BC based and serve clients across BC.
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When an accident involves a car in auto-pilot or equipped with advanced driver assistance happens, who is to blame? Should the manufacturer of the car be held responsible?

Drivers Optional? Liability and Fault for Self-Driving Cars
by Rob Anderson

The Rise of Self-Driving Cars

Both the popularity and presence of self-driving cars on North American roads is expected to grow in the decades to come with car makers looking to make fully autonomous vehicles an affordable reality. What’s not to like? A person gets from point A to B in the comfort and convenience of their own vehicle while not having to do the tedious and attention demanding tasks of having to operate the vehicle. Is this the dawn of a new era? An era where parents are no longer slaves to the transportation demands of their children, the elderly no longer need to fear being told they are no longer fit behind the wheel and those who enjoy a drink or two no longer need to cab it or have a designated driver. Are the days of carnage and casualty caused by driver error numbered? When accidents involving self-driving cars happen will their owners still be held responsible or will manufacturers have to share in responsibility for the damage caused?
The Days of Driver Error May Not be Numbered

There have been cases where vehicles in “auto-pilot” mode have been in accidents. As an example, in May 2016, a man was fatally injured while driving down a Florida highway at 119 km/h using his Tesla’s Autopilot driving system. The Tesla collided with a tractor-trailer that had emerged onto the road from an intersection. Immediately after the accident, Tesla indicated that the collision was because the camera on the car failed to recognize the tractor trailer due to the brightness of the sky that day. It first appeared as though the car was to blame for the accident.

A subsequent US Federal investigation into the accident determined that the autopilot function was designed to detect motor vehicles in the same lane and prevent front-to-rear collisions but was not designed for situations where cars appear from intersections to enter or cross the road. The investigators believed that the autopilot system was not responsible for the accident as it had performed as designed, but rather its use in a situation for which it was not designed (a road with intersections) was the cause of the accident. The federal investigation determined that the accident was ultimately the result of driver error as the driver had completely relied on the autopilot function when he should not have and had the driver remained vigilant, the collision would have likely been avoided.

Advanced Driver Assistance is Not a Green Light to Drive Distracted or Under the Influence

The US Federal investigation determined that a vehicle equipped with an advanced driver assistance system, or auto-pilot, still requires the continuous and undivided attention of the driver to monitor the road ahead of them (and intervene if appropriate). As such, drivers are still needed, and that failing to provide an appropriately trained and skilled person behind the wheel can result in personal liability should these kinds of systems fail if appropriate driver intervention could have avoided the crash. It would also appear that having the car in “auto-pilot” mode would be no defense against a distracted driving charge nor would it be a defense for a person who was driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

The Road from Driver Error to Product Liability

Drivers are still needed and will ultimately be held responsible if they fail to operate their vehicles responsibly. However, it is imaginable that car crash cases where the manufacturer of the car or the manufacturer of components of the self-driving features of the car are argued to have contributed will become more common. It is also imaginable that fully autonomous vehicles will become a reality in the decades to come and will challenge the law and car insurance to evolve – an “unfit” driver might someday be irrelevant to the case at hand. In the meantime, as vehicles with advanced driver assistance including auto-pilot, like the Tesla Model S, become more popular; road users will need to appreciate the limits of the technology to avoid carnage and casualty.

Indeed, it appears that the business of injury law related to car crashes is unlikely to become obsolete any time soon, although it may get far more complex in the years to come with the introduction of self-driving vehicles. Those in accidents involving a self-driving car may benefit from experienced legal advice that can assist them in navigating their claim. If you or someone you care about has been in an accident in BC and needs legal advice, the injury lawyers at League and Williams help their clients recover their fullest potential, provide free consultations and do not get paid until the claim is resolved. To contact our lawyers call 250-888-0002 or email
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