Lawyers for Pedestrian Accidents
Much like accidents involving just motor vehicles, a pedestrian and motor vehicle accident can often happen when a driver is acting recklessly or shifting their attention from the road. Pedestrian injuries can be catastrophic, and often lead to a fatality or an incredibly serious injury.
Types of Pedestrian and Motor Vehicle Accidents
Pedestrian safety is (practically speaking) a shared responsibility. As a pedestrian, you may think you always have the right of way, and in many cases cars and other motor vehicles must yield to pedestrians, but if they don’t, being right isn’t going to prevent you from being seriously injured or killed. As part of the class of vulnerable road users, along with cyclists and motorcyclists, pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions account for approximately 15% of road fatalities in Canada.
Pedestrian injuries occur when drivers:
- Drive distracted (e.g., while texting) or negligently without proper care and attention
- Speed (speed really does kill)
- Disregard weather or traffic conditions
- Disobey traffic signs or signals
- Fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians at marked crosswalks and intersections
- Fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign
- Fail to stop before turning right on red at an intersection
- Drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Injuries resulting from an accident between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian can result in various serious injuries, including brain injury, spinal injury, or even wrongful death.
Contributory Negligence in Pedestrian Injury Claims
Under Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act, when there is a collision between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, the driver will usually be found 100% liable for the accident unless he or she can prove that in the specific circumstances of the accident, there was nothing a reasonable driver could have done to prevent the accident. In most cases, that boils down to an argument that the pedestrian did, or failed to do something, which caused or contributed to the accident. This is what lawyers mean when they talk about “contributory negligence.”
Contributory negligence occurs when an injured plaintiff fails to act prudently, and this failure is a contributing factor to the accident that injured the pedestrian. If a pedestrian is found to have caused or contributed to the accident, the Court may reduce the amount of damages that can be recovered from the defendant by the percentage that the pedestrian is responsible. For example, if the accident occurred, in part, because the pedestrian was wearing dark clothing and darted out into an intersection at night a court might well find the pedestrian 50% liable for the accident. The practical impact is that any damages awarded to the pedestrian would be reduced by 50%.
Free No-Obligation Consultations for Pedestrian Accident Victims
Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers has decades of experience helping people who are victims of accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians.
It is important that you speak with legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident in order to maximize financial help available to you and ensure that a claim can be advanced on your behalf. We offer free, no obligation consultations with any of the members of our Injury Law Team. If you’ve been injured it’s always better to know what you are facing so that you can make informed decisions about your options.
We have offices in Grande Prairie, Fairview, Edmonton, La Crete and Spirit River. We serve all of Alberta, including Fort McMurray, Grande Cache, High Level, High Prairie, Manning, Peace River, Sexsmith, Slave Lake, and Valleyview.