A pedestrian accident is incredibly traumatic for both pedestrian and driver. Even minor, low speed collisions can cause severe injuries such as broken bones, deep lacerations, and head and spinal injuries. Hence, Ontario’s low tolerance for pedestrian accidents. Crowded cities like Toronto have initiated programmes to bring serious and fatal pedestrian accidents down to zero – ambitious, but laudable targets.
Did you know 1 in 5 fatal road accidents in Ontario involved a pedestrian in 2018.
Types of pedestrian accidents:
- Pedestrians or drivers making unexpected manoeuvres in the street
- Failure to stop at stop signs or traffic lights
- Turning right or left into pedestrians in the blind spot
- Children running out into the road
- Pedestrians crossing highways
- Drunk driving or inebriated pedestrians stumbling into the road
- Accidents resulting from vehicles backing up
- Accidents at road works or with construction workers on the road
- Accidents while school buses are stopped
Pedestrian car accident checklist
Whether you are the pedestrian who has been struck, the driver of the vehicle or a bystander, these first steps are essential.
Call an ambulance – Call 911 if you see or have been involved in a pedestrian accident. Immediate medical attention can save lives, and reduce the extent of injury.
Call the police – It is a legal requirement that a pedestrian accident be investigated by the police. There is a misconception that accidents valued at less than $2000 in ‘damage’ are not responded to by the police – that is not the case if a person is involved in the collision (or if someone is injured)!
Gathering evidence – Blood-alcohol content, distracted driving, the condition of the car, the actions of the pedestrian: these are just some aspects the police will investigate at the scene of the accident. Having all the information recorded formally will reduce the chances of dispute and allow for easier resolution of insurance claims. If you are able to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, and obtain witnesses’ contact information.
Exchanging information – Exchanging information, such as name, contact details, and insurance particulars with the driver is essential and required by the law. If you are the pedestrian, the driver must share all of these details with you.
No small talk – Do not indulge in small talk. Statements like ‘I am sorry’, ‘I didn’t mean to do that’ or ‘It’s not your fault’ can inadvertently let someone off the hook, or land you in greater trouble if you explicitly or implicitly admit fault. Neither your pedestrian accident lawyers nor your insurers will be grateful to you for that.
Taking pictures – If you can, take pictures of the scene, the location of the car, the road conditions and how the accident has changed (for instance, if the driver parked the car by the side of the road after the accident).
Read more about pedestrian accidents
Vision Zero: No deaths or serious injuries on Toronto streets
How long do I have to sue? Limitation periods in Ontario
Who pays the bills after a car accident
‘No-fault’ but someone is still at fault
Ontario, like many other provinces in Canada is a no-fault province. It means that the driver’s insurance policy will payout accident benefits to the pedestrian regardless of whose fault the accident was. This does not mean that fault will not be ascertained. A detailed investigation by your pedestrian accident lawyers or the insurance company will apportion liability to the pedestrian and the driver.
In 2018, nearly 4000 pedestrians suffered minimal or minor injuries in collisions with motor vehicles in Ontario.
Insurance claim and benefits for pedestrians
As a pedestrian you are entitled to receive benefits from the driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will assess your injuries and provide benefits up to:
- $3,500 for minor injuries
- $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries
- $1,000,000 for catastrophic injuries
*Note: These are combined benefits (introduced in 2016) which roll medical benefits, rehabilitation benefits, and attendant care benefits into one lump sum amount.
Moreover, if you decide to pursue a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle, at least $200,000 will be covered by the insurance policy (third party liability). Drivers may have additional coverage.
If you have suffered a loss of income, feel your pain and suffering has not been adequately compensated by the insurer, or if the driver was inebriated or distracted, contacting a personal injury lawsuit may provide you with options to pursue a legal remedy for your losses.
Speak to pedestrian accident injury lawyers in Toronto
Whether you believe you have not been injured or you have sustained injuries that resulted in you being hospitalized, speak to an experienced Toronto pedestrian accident injury lawyer immediately. Our lawyers will visit you at home or in the hospital if you are unable to visit our offices. Accident benefits and insurance claims have strict time limits, and failure to file a claim can result in you being denied the compensation you are owed!