Pedestrian accidents in Ontario

Many pedestrians in the Greater Toronto area are injured in accidents each year. Pedestrian accidents can be caused by motor vehicle collisions and may involve injuries.

A driver has a duty of care to drive reasonably under the circumstances. When they are negligent and cause injury to a pedestrian as a result, they may be held to be civilly liable for the injuries suffered. Common ways in which a driver may negligently cause an accident include distracted driving, not yielding the right of way to pedestrians who are in crosswalks, speeding, running red lights or traffic signals, not using their turn signals, drunk driving and ignoring weather or road conditions. Drivers owe a heightened duty of care to children, as children are smaller, less likely to be seen and more likely to be hit by cars than are adults.

Pedestrians also owe a duty of care. They must exercise reasonable care and caution in order to protect themselves. Pedestrians should obey traffic and walk signals at intersections. They should use marked crosswalks and avoid darting out in front of oncoming traffic.

When a person is seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, he or she may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the driver in the event that the driver was negligent. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, injured victims may be able to hold the driver civilly liable and could collect damages for losses the pedestrian suffered. In some cases, the driver of a vehicle will attempt to blame the pedestrian for the accident by accusing him or her of causing it through his or her own negligence. Pedestrians may wish to consult with a personal injury lawyer about their circumstances.

Source: Findlaw, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview“, November 20, 2014