HAMILTON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT LAWYER

MILLIONS RECOVERED FOR PEDESTRIAN VICTIMS ALL OVER ONTARIO SINCE 2003

Hamilton's Pedestrian Accident Lawyers serving all of Ontario

If you or a loved one has been hit by a car – don’t hesitate call us now. We specialize in complex pedestrian accident cases and we will fight to protect your rights and ensure compensation for your losses.

We understand that if your loved one has been hit by a car that you will have many questions. Who will help pay the bills? Will my spouses survive? What do I tell the kids? How to I pay the mortgage when I only contributed less than half of the household money? This is why you need to consult with an experienced lawyer that can help guide you through the complexities of pedestrian accident law and make sure that you and your family are not only compensated, but that you are protected financially in case of lost income into the home.

The Ministry of Transportation has reported that pedestrians in Ontario are commonly hit by distracted drivers or using cell-phones, drunk drivers, buses, delivery vehicles trucks, and taxis who fail to drive within posted speed limits, fail to obey stop signs, fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians, or fail to obey other common traffic laws. Every day in Ontario many innocent pedestrians of all ages are hurt or killed due to the negligence of careless drivers and, often times, a child or an elderly person is the victim.  The consequences of being hit by a car as a pedestrian  can be highly tragic.

There is no doubt that the majority of motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians result in very severe personal injuries and even death.  If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Hamilton pedestrian accident or hit by a car, you have an absolute right to financial recovery and financial protection to help put you in the place you were before you were hurt. We represent vicitms all over Ontario – and never ask for money upfront.

Since 2003, Matt Lalande has represented hundred of victims that have been hit by cars while walking, running and even in wheelchairs with skill and expertise. If you or a loved one have been injured by a motor vehicle or hit by a car while trying to cross the street, in a parking lot or anywhere where pedestrians and cars come in close proximity to each other, contact our Hamilton pedestrian accident lawyers 24/7 by filing in a contact form, by calling us at 905-333-8888 or by speaking with our live chat operator who will help you set up an appointment.


How do most pedestrian accidents happen in Ontario?

Statistics Canada has reported that in Ontario:

  • 30% of pedestrian fatalities involve pedestrians that are drunk or high;
  • 10% of pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers on their cell phones;
  • 30% of pedestrian fatalities were due to drivers failing to yield, speeding, losing control, disobeying traffic signals and signs and improper turning; and
  • 55% of all pedestrians killed in 2016 happened after dark. Visibility is a major contributing factor with pedestrian accidents.

From a traffic standpoint, pedestrian accidents commonly occur:

  • when drivers are speeding or they fail to obey posted speed limits;
  • when drivers fail to stop at stop signs;
  • when drivers are distracted;
  • when drivers fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians or people walking;
  • with hit and run accidents – these incidents are regrettably common, as many drivers tend to panic when they hit a pedestrian or they are impaired and flee the scene, and;in intersection type accidents. Cars can be turning right or left or changing lanes, and drivers may be distracted by their phones, fail to yield or fail to stop.

Who is at risk for pedestrian accidents?

Anyone who crosses the street is at risk for a pedestrian accident. Sometimes drivers of motor vehicles can be unpredictable or impatient and not willing to wait for the individual to cross completely before continuing along the road.  However, certain factors influence an individual’s likeliness of being struck by a vehicle such as:

Children – Young children, between the ages of five and nine, are the most at-risk individuals to be struck by vehicles. Their smaller size means that they are not as likely to be seen by oncoming vehicles. Additionally, children at this age can be unpredictable and may not completely understand traffic laws or how to safely cross the street. Drivers should exercise a greater degree of caution when travelling through areas where children are present in higher numbers, such as parks, schools, and community centers.
Elderly Individuals – Senior citizens account for approximately 36% of all pedestrian accidents and deaths in Canada. Elderly individuals with mobile issues may take longer to cross at intersections, often requiring longer than the light may give. Additionally, senior citizens with cognitive disabilities such as dementia and Alzheimer’s may be affected as they cross.
Pedestrians With Disabilities – Similar to elderly individuals, disabled individuals sometimes require more time to cross the street if they walk with assistive devices such as wheelchairs, canes, or walkers. This leaves these individuals vulnerable when they cross the street.
Individuals Walking at Night – At night, visibility is significantly decreased. Individuals who are crossing the street at night may not be seen by oncoming cars and must exercise greater caution when travelling by foot.


Serious Pedestrian Accident Injuries 

Pedestrians that are hit by cars can suffer major traumatic injuries. Some of the more common life-changing pedestrian injuries that we see include:

Severe orthopedic fractures – The most common injury by far when a person is hit by a car are problem bones, requiring surgery by plates, screws or nails.

Life-threatening internal injuries and mid-body injuries – Biomechanical studies have shown that the odds of pedestrian injury or death when struck by light trucks and vans are much higher because of their height – they cause significant mid-body injuries.

Severe tendon tears – such as rotator cuff tears and ligament/tendon tears.

Traumatic brain injuries – In Ontario, the majority or pedestrians that suffered severe injuries from being hit by a vehicle reportedly sustained moderate to severe head injuries.

Catastrophic injuries – Many pedestrians that are hit by cars in Ontario suffer catastrophic injuries which entitles the victim to enhanced access to rehabilitation for life.

Some of the more specific injuries an individual may experience after being struck by a vehicle include: 

All of these life-changing injuries can result in detrimental consequences for the pedestrian victims, including permanent disability, paralysis, and brain damage. Often, this requires significant medical treatment and recovery, with the potential for long-lasting emotional or mental illness to follow. Many individuals lose the ability to return to work and suffer from debt due to loss of income.


How dangerous are our roadways in Ontario?

pedestrian accident about to happen

To put things into perspective, more people have died on Canada’s roadways in the past 50 years than the number of Canadians soldiers killed in both World Wars. Statistics Canada and Transport Canada tell us that in Canada, there are approximately 2900 people killed yearly, or 8 daily, on our roadways. The percentage of wrongful death pedestrian fatalities has remained consistently at approximately 13%. Although there has been a slight decrease in pedestrian/bicyclist deaths overall in Canada since 1990, the number continues to fluctuate in Ontario.

In 2019, CBC News reported that in Toronto, over 80 per cent of the pedestrians killed on Toronto’s roads so far this year are older adults or seniors – which is because we are living in an aging population with many baby-boomers reaching senior age and living longer do to medical advancements. Twenty-seven pedestrians have been hit and killed by drivers of various types of vehicles, according to the latest police figures. Of those, twenty-two were people aged 55 and over — 81% of the total — including fifteen who were seniors aged 65 and up, making up more than half of all those people killed.


Do pedestrians have the right of way in Ontario?

All drivers of motor vehicles and bicycles must stop and yield the roadway at all pedestrian crossovers, until the person is completely off the roadway. Only when pedestrians and school crossing guards have crossed and are safely on the sidewalk can drivers and cyclists proceed.

At crosswalks, designated intersections, and other pedestrian crossings, pedestrians have the right of way as long as they are abiding by the law. All drivers must wait until a pedestrian has safely crossed the street when turning right or left at an intersection. Two-thirds of Canadian pedestrian accidents are caused by drivers who do not take proper care to avoid pedestrians crossing the street, or who fail to obey their duty of care. Under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, in pedestrian accident cases, the driver who struck the pedestrian is required to prove that they exercised their duty of care and did not intentionally or negligently strike the individual.

When an individual crosses the road outside of a crosswalk or dedicated crossing area, they are jaywalking. This is not illegal as long as the pedestrian is not interfering with road traffic and is crossing in a safe spot, free from oncoming vehicles. Both parties could be found at fault when an accident occurs because the pedestrian is jaywalking. However, the burden of proof is on the driver of a motor vehicle under a reverse onus clause. Due to the nature of the difference in size between the motor vehicle and the pedestrian, drivers are often held liable in pedestrian accident cases that involve jaywalking.


What am I entitled to if I have been hit by a car?

There may be certain financial benefits available to a person who was hit by a car to cover such things as death and funeral costs if there was a fatality involved. There is also the availability of a wrongful death claim which would seek compensation to all eligible surviving family members entitled to financial compensation and recovery for their loss.

There may also be death and funeral benefits that a family may be entitled to, as well as financial income losses to help compensate the surviving spouse or child for financial losses they suffer due to increased family responsibilities or perhaps even the loss of a dual family income. If you survived the accident, our lawyers will seek a claim future health care expenses, loss of wages, compensation for pain and suffering as well as compensation to help keep care of your home.  If you have been seriously hurt, you will need financial protection.


Common causes of pedestrians accidents in Ontario

There is no doubt that pedestrians, runners, cyclists, or people that travel by wheelchair, scooter, or push a stroller are most vulnerable users of the road. Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to injuries, and are often placed at risk by a variety of hazards.

There’s no doubt that the drastic increase in number of vehicles in Ontario with each passing year is causing an increase in injuries and fatalities in road traffic accident – but what are other reasons?

  • Increased amount of commuters;
  • People are driving faster;
  • People are distracted;
  • Drivers are on their phones;
  • Pedestrians are on their phones;
  • Hidden or Obscure crosswalks;
  • Cars are quieter;
  • Speed limits in certain communities are increasing;
  • Cyclists using improper lanes;
  • Crosswalks that are unmarked;
  • Negligent left-hand turns;
  • Infrastructure may play a role as well. pedestrians are more likely to be hit in areas where traffic lights are not that well maintained or there are not enough sidewalks;
  • Poor lighting;
  • Fatigued drivers;
  • Lack of proper signage.

Wrongful death claims in Ontario pedestrian accidents

pedestrian accident law firm

We understand that it is never easy to lose a loved one unexpectedly and when the loss is the result of someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, it can be even harder to accept and cope with the loss. Wrongful death in Ontario is a civil matter as opposed to a criminal one. If the pedestrian’s death was caused by the to carelessness or recklessness of a motorist, representatives of the victim’s estate or the victim’s surviving family matters may be entitled to sue the at-fault party or parties for damages related to the death, including economic and non-economic damages. There may also be death and funeral benefits that a family may be entitled to, as well as financial income losses to help compensate the surviving spouse or child for financial losses they suffer due to increased family responsibilities or perhaps even the loss of a dual family income.

This unexpected and tragic occurrence can leave many families facing overwhelming economic burden while dealing with the frustrating circumstances. A Hamilton pedestrian accident lawyer can assist your family in this process and help alleviate the stress that comes with filing a pedestrian wrongful death claim.

The following individuals may be entitled to sue for compensation in a wrongful death claim in the event that a loved one is killed in a pedestrian accident:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings

Filing a wrongful death claim should not be an attempt at putting a dollar figure on your loved one’s life.. Wrongful death claims making sure that the liable parties are held responsible for what they caused, and helps family members of the deceased pedestrian financially. For example, if a spouse was killed and that spouse brought in financial contribution to shared family income, then that income will need to be valuated and replaced.


What is the “reverse onus” in Ontario Pedestrian Cases?

Unlike an accident involving two vehicles where the onus is on the plaintiff to prove that the defendant was negligent, the onus is reversed when the plaintiff is a pedestrian (or cyclist).Ontario law recognizes the vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists through the reverse onus provision in section 193 of the Highway Traffic Act 193(1) When loss or damage is sustained by any person by  reason of a motor vehicle on a highway, the onus of proof that the loss or damage did not arise through the negligence or improper conduct of the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle is upon the owner, driver, lessee or operator of the motor vehicle. The term “motor vehicle” is defined not to include a “motor assisted bicycle” (commonly known as e-bikes).  Therefore, the reverse onus applies when a car strikes an e-bike. Section 193 of the Highway Traffic Act has the following effect in cases where a driver hits a
pedestrian or cyclist:

  • The defendant is presumed to be negligent;
  • The defendant bears the onus of proving he or she was  not negligent;
  • The reverse onus is not displaced merely by a defendant giving some evidence that he or she was not negligent;
  • The evidence to disprove negligence must be credible and persuasive to the extent that is satisfies a Judge or Jury that the defendant did not cause the accident by his or her negligence;
  • If the issue is in doubt or if the evidence is even, the defendant will be liable; and
  • Proof by a defendant that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent does not discharge the onus.

Facts to be Considered when Determining Driver Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases

When our Hamilton Pedestrian Accident Lawyers are retained to prosecute your civil case, we will examine all facts leading to the liability in your pedestrian accident such as:

1. Driving at excessive speed;
2. Failing to keep a proper lookout/inattentiveness;
3. Failing to adjust speed according to weather, visibility and the road conditions;
4. Failing to ensure that the vehicle is functioning properly or specific knowledge of the vehicle’s limitations;
5. Failure to apply brakes or take other evasive action;
6. Failing to yield the road to a pedestrian when on a crosswalk;
7. Failure to sound the horn;
8. Failure to stop or slow down when other vehicles are seen to do likewise;
9. Failing to yield the road to a pedestrian outside the crosswalk when it is obvious that the pedestrian is not going to yield the road to the vehicle;
10. Presence of other pedestrians;
11. Pedestrians behaviour;
12. Particular knowledge of an intersection which should have caused the driver to act differently;
13. Failing to obey the traffic rules (suddenly changing the lanes; driving against a red light; not stopping at the stop sign; failing to turn on the turn signal etc.);
14. Driving while intoxicated;
15. Driving while distracted (using a cell phone; talking to the passengers etc.);
16. Failing to observe surrounding circumstances ( ongoing public events; presence of children or elderly people around etc.) and exercise increased caution proceeding through the area;
17. Knowledge of presence of crosswalk/school/playground area
18. Location of parked cars (knowledge that pedestrians looking to get to their cars or exiting their vehicles) or other vehicles (i.e. taxi and expectations of pedestrian movement related to same)


Contact a Hamilton pedestrian accident lawyer today.

If you were injured due to another driver’s negligence by car, truck, bus, motorcycle while you were crossing any road, you may be entitled to compensation. At Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers, our compassionate lawyers help pedestrians who have been seriously injured caused by motorists. Our  Hamilton personal injury lawyers will review the details of the accident and discuss your legal options during a free consultation. Since 2003, we have been specilizing in complex personal injury cases.  Our consultations are always 100% free.  Our Hamilton pedestrian accident lawyers can come to you, and we will never ask you for money upfront.   Call us today nationwide at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton / GTA at 905-333-8888  or fill in a contract form today to learn the compensation that you are entitled to.

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