When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian always loses. Significant injuries or death can result even if the vehicle is slow moving. Often the accident is emotionally traumatic as well.
When a pedestrian is injured, more than one party may be legally responsible for the accident. The determination of liability is one key to your settlement. Depending on the circumstances, the driver of the vehicle and the pedestrian may share liability. If the pedestrian is found to be partly to blame, his or her settlement will be reduced by the same percentage. i.e, if the pedestrian is 25% to blame for the accident, his or her settlement will be reduced by 25%. Each case is unique and will depend on the specific circumstances.
Drivers will be found to be fully or partly to blame if:
- The driver failed to obey traffic laws (e.g., disobeys traffic signs or signals, is speeding, fails to yield the right of way to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol);
- The driver failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances (e.g., the driver is negligent as a result of distracted driving or disregarding weather or traffic conditions);
- The pedestrian was obeying traffic laws (i.e. if the pedestrian was in the crosswalk boundaries and started to cross when the “walk” traffic signal illuminated);
Some pedestrian liability could be found if the pedestrian failed to exercise his or her duty to take reasonable care for their own safety. A percentage of pedestrian liability may be assigned if:
- The pedestrian did not use an available crosswalk or entered the crosswalk after the “Walk” signal had expired
- The pedestrian entered the cross walk at a time when the motor vehicle was so close that it did not have time to stop.
- The pedestrian ran out into the street or emerged from between parked vehicles.
- The pedestrian was walking while distracted by using an electronic device.
- Dark clothing will be a factor if the pedestrian was not in a crosswalk when the conditions are dark.
As a pedestrian injured by a motorized vehicle in BC, you are entitled to claim Accident Benefits (Part 7 Benefits) from ICBC to cover your income loss and medical and rehabilitation costs up to a maximum of $150,000 even if you are partly to blame. For more information please visit our ICBC page.
At Taylor & Blair LLP, our Vancouver car accident lawyers will fight for a fair settlement on liability and for the compensation you deserve. We can help you obtain damages, for your wage loss, future loss of earning capacity, medical and rehabilitation expenses and pain and suffering. Contact us in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey, Port Coquitlam, or Coquitlam at Taylor & Blair LLP Personal Injury Lawyers at 604-737-6900.