Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to serious injury — a major accident could leave a pedestrian with bone fractures, an injury to the spinal cord, or a brain injury. In the most serious accident cases, the pedestrian-automobile collision can cause catastrophic injury or death. The majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence. In this article, we will review some of the main causes of pedestrian accidents in BC and what to do if ICBC disputes liability in your pedestrian injury claim.
Main causes of pedestrian accidents in BC
The main types of driver negligence that lead to pedestrian accidents in BC include:
- Distracted driving. The number of motor vehicle accidents caused by drivers who are texting, using a GPS, or otherwise distracted while operating a vehicle is ever-increasing.
- Speeding. Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the current road and weather conditions makes it difficult or impossible for a driver to react to a pedestrian or stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Inattentive left-hand turns. Pedestrians are more likely to be struck by a driver making a left-hand turn at an intersection when compared to right-hand turns, as a left-turning driver is focused on oncoming traffic.
- Backing up without checking for pedestrians. Many pedestrian accidents occur when drivers back out of driveways or parking spots without checking their mirrors or looking behind them to ensure there are no pedestrians.
Other contributing factors to pedestrian vehicle accidents include poor weather such as fog and rain; slippery roads caused by rain, ice, or snow; and lighting conditions (for example, a pedestrian is typically less visible at night or when crossing at a poorly lit intersection).
If ICBC denies liability for your pedestrian accident
If ICBC disputes liability in your pedestrian injury claim, you should retain a personal injury lawyer to fight back. In addition to the rules set out in BC’s Motor Vehicle Act, the law recognizes pedestrians are particularly vulnerable and therefore it is not enough for drivers of motor vehicles to merely follow the rules of the road. There is always a duty on motorists to avoid a collision, even when they have the right of way. So even a jaywalking pedestrian or pedestrian who was distracted by their cell phone while crossing the street may not be entirely at fault, if it was possible for the driver to avoid the collision. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers has a strong track record of successfully representing injured pedestrians, even in the face of an outright denial of fault by ICBC. For example, see here for a case in which we represented a pedestrian who suffered significant injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, when he was struck by a car. ICBC argued that the pedestrian was at fault for the accident. Our personal injury lawyers took the case on, and succeeded in obtaining a judgment finding the driver 100% at fault for the collision.
Get legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer
A pedestrian who has been injured as a result of a driver’s negligence may be entitled to significant compensation. If you have been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, it is highly recommended that you consult with a personal injury lawyer to ensure that your ICBC tort claim (i.e., the claim against the driver who caused your injuries) includes all the damages that you are entitled to as a result of the accident. In most cases you are also entitled to no fault benefits if you are injured by a vehicle while walking – even if you do not have ICBC insurance yourself. The personal injury lawyers at Simpson, Thomas & Associates are highly skilled and experienced in representing pedestrians injured in motor vehicle accidents, advocating on their behalf, gathering evidence to establish their claim, and protecting their legal rights. If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident, please call us today at (604) 689-8888 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.