By Matt Lalande in Pedestrian Accidents on August 27, 2018
Pedestrian accidents in the Ontario have been on the rise over the past several years. In 2016 – over 100 pedestrian fatalities were reported across the province. 2017 was also a terrible year for pedestrian safety in Ontario. Over 1500 vehicle pedestrian accidents occurred – 43 of which were fatalities in Toronto. Last year in Hamilton nearly 280 people were hit by cars (in Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas & Stoney Creek) with nearly 90% of pedestrians suffering injuries. Vehicle pedestrian collisions have been on the rise consistently since 2011, although fatalities have declined.
In Hamilton and throughout Southern Ontario, many pedestrian accidents often occur in busy urban areas like city streets, intersections, crosswalks and sidewalks. Typically, pedestrians have little to no protection to ward off collisions with a car, truck or other motor vehicle and because of this, accidents normally result in serious injuries such as fractured spinal bones, spinal cord injury, broken bones in the legs and arms, head injuries, or even death.
Most pedestrian accidents are typically caused by motorists that are inattentive. Many of the reported pedestrian accidents that occur throughout Burlington and Hamilton can normally be linked to some sort of distraction in most, if not all cases. Many pedestrian injuries are caused by drivers that fail to stop at stop signs or traffic lights. Drivers turning right at an intersection while looking left is a common cause of pedestrian accidents. A significant number of pedestrian accidents in Ontario are also caused by drivers who are impaired, inexperienced, distracted by their smart phones, and, in many cases, improper lane use, speed racing or simply driving too fast for the conditions.
Pedestrian accidents are also caused by drivers who fails to notice that someone has stepped into the crosswalk, and/or they do not come to a full stop. In other cases, drivers are may fail to exercise caution or “increased caution” in certain areas where pedestrians are certainly to be expected – such as school cross walks, near school zones, near malls, bus stations, downtown ect.)
In Ontario, there is a duty of care owed by drivers to exercise due care for the safety of others. In most circumstances (outside of private roadways, parking lots, and private property) a driver is presumed negligent – meaning that the pedestrian need only prove that the collision occurred and that accident caused injury. Liability or fault can be divided if a motorist rebuts the presumption of negligence and proves that a pedestrian acted irresponsibly in the circumstances – however, the driver is always assumed negligent until proven otherwise.
Generally, a pedestrian has the same rights as anyone involved in a car accident. A person hit by a vehicle is typically entitled to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company for economic and non-economic damages.
An injured person or a family member may file suit for pain and suffering, psychological and psychiatric suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of amenities, wage loss such as loss of past income, loss of competitive advantage, direct economic loss, loss of housekeeping capacity and for compensation for future care costs which may arise later in life and be outside of OHIP approved payments or other benefit costs.
Damages are compensatory – meaning they are means to compensate you for your losses caused by the at-fault driver’s negligence.
If you or your loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury that is severe enough to be permanently life changing, you may be entitled to enhanced coverage that would entitle you to a further one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in combined medical-rehab and attendant care benefits. You may also be entitled to such benefits as income replacement benefits and financial help for weekly housekeeping benefits.
The chances of escaping injury in a pedestrian-car accident is slim. Pedestrians are always the weaker party with no external protection to absorb the trauma or a collision with a car, truck or any other type of motor vehicle. At Lalande & Company Injury & Disability Lawyers, we can’t reverse the damages or loss caused to you or your loved one, but our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers can fight for the justice you and your family deserve. Obtaining reasonable compensation from a negligent driver’s insurance company can no doubt help a victim make better and more able decisions while being able to afford to manage their injuries.
It is important to remember that we NEVER charge up-front fees for consultations or if we agree to take on the case. Our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers are able to help answer your most pressing questions, we are available 24/7 and we are able to help guide you or your loved ones toward pursuing reasonable compensation. Even if you have been told you were to blame, it’s important to contact us right away.