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Pedestrian Accidents 

Even if you’re not seriously injured, any accident can be a traumatic event

If so, the driver that hit you is most likely at fault and liable for the injuries you sustained in the pedestrian accident. The pedestrian accident scenario often results in severe and permanent injuries such as paralysis, brain injury, bone fractures, and scarring, etc. The pedestrian accident case involves a complex maze of legal, factual, insurance and financial issues. The injury lawyer from Hughes and Company will assist you with your case from the start.

Watch Out for Pedestrians

We know that safety-conscious drivers must always be on the alert for unexpected, irregular behavior on the part of other, non-motorized road-users.

The definition of a pedestrian in the BC Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) is broad: “pedestrian” means a person afoot or an invalid or child in a wheelchair or carriage (S. 119).

Pedestrians are vulnerable, so drivers must yield to pedestrians. But the law is also clear that pedestrians must watch out for themselves. This is especially so where they are “jaywalking” i.e. crossing at a point, not in a marked crosswalk. MVA section 180 says that the pedestrian must yield the right of way to a vehicle while crossing a highway at a point, not in a crosswalk. The case law says the same thing: a jaywalking pedestrian has to yield. But invariably these decisions add that drivers still have a duty to avoid hitting the pedestrian.

Where to Focus

At busy, main, light-controlled intersections—the very place where drivers most need to focus on traffic flow. The most common infraction is by impatient pedestrians who will not wait for advance left turners to go first. 

Jaywalking is a common cause of pedestrian fatality.  Often preliminary investigations conclude that speed and alcohol were not factors.  Simply put, the driver had no time to react, usually because the pedestrian stepped in front of the vehicle without looking or simply failed to appreciate that the driver had no way of seeing them.  Jaywalking pedestrians need to remember that all it takes is a moment of invisibility for them to be in peril —an oncoming driver’s vision obscured by sunlight, shrubbery, or by hard-to-see clothing.

Pedestrian behavior at marked crosswalks is also confounding. Some pedestrians are annoyingly over-assertive, stepping out regardless of a clearly visible break in the traffic flow.  This forces a whole row of drivers to brake suddenly. It only takes one driver’s slow reaction to cause a pile-up.  Some pedestrians, on the other hand, are so timid that it’s unclear whether they intend to cross or are merely passing the time of day loitering on the road edge. When they finally assert themselves and slowly check to ensure that it’s safe to go.

Patience, courtesy, and civility on the part of all road users are essential qualities for fostering a culture of road safety.