Your Rights as a Pedestrian When Hit by a Car
In recent years, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in Ontario. Often, pedestrian accidents are caused by inattentive motorists who fail to stop at stop signs or traffic lights. Other common causes include impaired, inexperienced, or distracted drivers. Many pedestrian accidents happen in busy urban areas, such as city streets, intersections, crosswalks, and even sidewalks.
Generally, pedestrians have the same rights as anyone involved in a car accident. Individuals who have been hit by a vehicle are entitled to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance. Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and brain trauma are common injuries faced by those who are struck by a car while walking. In Ontario, drivers are presumed negligent in pedestrian accidents and only need to prove the occurrence of the collision occurred, and that said collision caused the injury.
If you have been struck by a car, it is imperative that you know your rights. There are two important factors that you should know:
1. You have a limited time to inform your insurance company of the accident: After an accident, Ontario law requires that you notify your insurance company within seven days of the incident in order to secure compensation. If you do not meet this deadline, you could compromise your rights to pursue a lawsuit, preserve evidence and earn compensation.
2. You have the right to sue a negligent driver: In addition to receiving Accident Benefits, you may also have the option to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver for damages such as economic losses, health care costs, as well as pain and suffering. However, pedestrians may only sue the driver if they sustained an injury that surpasses the threshold of injury necessary to sue under the Insurance Act in Ontario.
If you or a loved one have recently been struck by a car and have suffered serious injuries, it is imperative that you are familiar with your rights. Contact our team of experienced personal injury lawyers for more information on whether you have a claim.