Collisions involving pedestrians in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario are, unfortunately, quite common and have have been on the rise. Ontario pedestrian collisions occur in roadways, crosswalks, intersections and, often times, in driveways and parking lots. Pedestrians and cyclists involved in accidents with motor vehicles often sustain serious injuries, including serious orthopedic injuries, catastrophic injury or even death.
Ontario Drivers Owe Duty of Care to Pedestrians
In Ontario, motorists owe a duty of care to pedestrians. When a pedestrian is struck by a car or other motor vehicle in Ontario, there is a presumption of negligence against the driver of the motor vehicle. This is unlike the law that usually applies to motor vehicle negligence cases and is known as a reverse onus. The authority for the reverse onus for pedestrian accidents comes from Ontario's Highway Traffic Act. As such, the driver and owner of the motor vehicle that strikes a pedestrian in Ontario will have the onus of proving that they were not negligent in the operation of the motor vehicle. Although the reverse onus makes it somewhat easier for pedestrians and cyclists injured by a motor vehicle, it is a mistake to assume that these are easy cases. Because of the potential exposure for damages, pedestrian motor vehicle collisions in Ontario are often vigorously defended by auto insurance companies.
Be A Defensive Driver
Defensive driving means being aware of your surroundings and anticipating circumstances before they arise. A defensive driver will be aware of people who walk, bicycle, operate a wheelchair, roller-blade or ride an electric scooter. Drivers should especially give particular attention to young children who may be playing near or in the road. In residential neighborhood and school zones, drivers should assume that children will be present and drive accordingly. Unlike mature and experienced pedestrians, children are often less capable of paying attention for vehicles and looking out for their own safety.
Pedestrians are not protected by seat belts or air bags or the exterior of the vehicle. As such, pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries even at low impact speed. If you have been involved in a pedestrian collision, you may benefit from the advice of an Ontario personal injury lawyer. Early preservation of facts and witness accounts is important to the issue of liability. The personal injury lawyers at Iacobelli Law Firm provide compassionate, professional and effective legal counsel for injured pedestrians. We also offer a FREE Consultation so please feel free to call us at 1-866-234-6093 or complete our online contact form here. We are honoured to serve our clients and our community
Andrew Iacobelli is an experienced personal injury lawyer who established Iacobelli Law Firm with offices located in Ontario, Canada and Florida, U.S.A. Andrew restricts his practice to the representation of personal injury victims in claims involving serious injuries and wrongful death.