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Pedestrian Accidents

Warmer weather means that more people are taking to the streets. We can expect to see people walking to and from work, taking lunch time strolls and generally enjoying the outdoors. College and university students have finished their winter terms and school age children are out of school for their summer vacation.  Furthermore, the increased road traffic during the summer months means a higher probability for collisions with pedestrians.

We would like to remind both pedestrians and motorists to review steps they can each take to help avoid accidents. Collisions with pedestrians can often have tragic consequences and may include catastrophic injuries involving the head, limbs and spine.

The following are tips to help avoid accidents with pedestrians:

Pedestrians:

  • Cross at marked crosswalks or traffic lights – not in the middle of the block or between parked cars;
  • Be sure drivers see you before you cross;
  • At a traffic light, only cross when you have the walk sign, not when the “Don’t Walk” sign is flashing or the light is yellow or red;
  • Watch for turning traffic at intersections or entering and leaving driveways;
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing when walking at dusk or in darkness.

Motorists:

  • Be patient, especially with older pedestrians;
  • Always watch for pedestrians, especially when turning;
  • Slow down on residential streets and through school zones.

Despite taking precautions, accidents can and do still happen. If you are an injured pedestrian, you are entitled to apply for statutory accident benefits or no fault benefits.   As well, depending on the severity of your injuries, you may also be entitled to recover damages in a civil lawsuit (a tort action) against the driver and owner of the vehicle that struck you. 

In order to recover any type of damages in a civil lawsuit arising from a motor vehicle accident, a person must first prove that the other party was negligent.  In the case of an injured pedestrian, there is what is known as the “reverse onus provision” to help establish fault or liability on the part of the driver. Section 193 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act states that if a pedestrian is struck and injured by a motorist, the driver is presumed to be negligent unless he or she can prove otherwise. This provision is helpful especially when the pedestrian has been seriously injured and may not remember the events leading up to and including the accident. 

At Himelfarb Proszanski, we are always on top of the law and ensure that our clients maximize their settlements; this is just part of the Himelfarb Proszanski Advantage™.

 

For assistance with a personal injury and/or insurance claim, please email David Himelfarb at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com or call 1-855-446-7765, for a free case evaluation.

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