Pedestrian Accidents 

If you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian you may be entitled to compensation.

An approximate 5000 pedestrians per year lose their lives in accidents with vehicles. On average, 70,000 pedestrians are injured in accidents with vehicles. On top of these concerns, many pedestrians are also injured by some non-vehicular incident.

Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrians Involved in Vehicle Accidents


The result of a pedestrian-vehicle injury claim is normally decided by deducing which party owed the duty of care. In other words, by deciding if it was the vehicle driver or the pedestrian who was acting unreasonably.

Both driver and pedestrian are expected to exercise reasonable care while upholding the rules of the road.

Drivers

​​Drivers are expected to use a reasonable amount of care given the circumstances they are driving under. If it is proven that a driver failed to do this then they will be held as negligent and ultimately responsible for any accident that occurred. 

Common forms of driver negligence that lead to pedestrian accidents include:

  • Driving over the speed limit

  • Ignoring traffic signs
  • Failure to signal during a maneuver
  • Driving while texting or operating some other electronic device
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to adjust their driving to extreme weather conditions
  • Ignoring the rights of pedestrians at crosswalks

Duty of Care to Children

A driver also holds a special duty of care where children are concerned. Statistics show that children between the ages of 5 and 9 are pedestrians at the most risk of being involved in an accident.

Not only are children smaller and less visible to vehicle drivers than adults, but they also behave much more unpredictable. 

For these reasons, the law imposes a higher duty of care on drivers when children are involved. A driver must exercise a greater level of care in these situations.


Pedestrians

A pedestrian is responsible for their own safety. It is up to the pedestrian to assess their situation and exercise the appropriate amount of care - the more hazardous a situation the more care must be taken to avoid accidents and injuries. If a pedestrian is deemed to have failed to exercise the appropriate amount of care then they may be held partly or totally responsible for an accident.

Common oversights by Pedestrians:

  • Suddenly entering into, and disrupting a traffic flow
  • Ignoring the walk signal at a crosswalk or intersection
  • Darting into traffic
  • Ignoring the caution signs around construction sights

Non-Vehicle Pedestrian Accident Law

Any pedestrian accident or injury that doesn’t involve a vehicle, and is claimed to be the fault of a property or premises owner is usually dealt with by the body of law known as premises liability. In the majority of legal jurisdictions, the owner of any land or property has a duty to maintain that land or property; and to warn pedestrians and road users alike of any hazardous situations that could arise.

To win compensation in a premises liability claim the plaintiff must demonstrate that:

  • A dangerous condition exists.
  • That the dangerous condition is unreasonable.
  • That the dangerous condition is not obvious.

They must also demonstrate the owner's knowledge of the condition in the following way:

  • By proving that the owner created the condition; or

  • By proving the owner was aware of the condition and failed to do anything to correct it, or

  • By proving that the condition existed for such a long time that the owner ought to have discovered and corrected it before an incident was able to occur.

Possible Non-Vehicle Causes of Pedestrian Injuries

Poor road maintenance

Sidewalk and parking lot defects

Construction site debris

Extreme weather conditions

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