In recent years, the province of Alberta has seen a concerning rise in fatal pedestrian accidents. Thousands of collisions involving pedestrians occur across the province each year, resulting in preventable deaths, disabling injuries, and lifetimes of physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Pedestrian accidents can happen in both rural areas and major urban centres. In the province’s largest city, on average, at least one pedestrian is struck by a vehicle every day. Pedestrians can be struck by negligent drivers on sidewalks, rural roads, residential blocks, in parking lots, and in other locations throughout the province where people travel in close proximity to motor vehicles.
According to Alberta Traffic Collision Statistics, the majority of fatal pedestrian accidents occur during weekday rush hours, when drivers’ impatience may contribute to more aggressive and distracted operation of their motor vehicles. These statistics show that most deadly pedestrian accidents are the result of drivers failing to yield the right of way.
Most Alberta pedestrian accidents take place at intersections and crosswalks. Distracted or inebriated drivers may coast through intersections without proper caution while pedestrians with the legal right of way are attempting to cross the street. Some drivers recklessly and purposefully ignore traffic signals, running stop signs or red lights where pedestrians may be attempting to cross the road. Engaging in any kind of wrongful behaviour behind the wheel can result in a deadly, preventable accident in which an unsuspecting, innocent, law-abiding pedestrian loses their life as the result of a total stranger’s negligence.
Pedestrian accidents can be life-changing experiences. Injured survivors of these traumatic incidents are often forced to cope with the demanding physical, emotional, and financial consequences for weeks, months, and even years following their accidents. And while pedestrians who have been injured in motor vehicle collisions should be able to recover Section B benefits to help offset the costs of injury-related expenses, oftentimes these insurance benefits are nowhere near sufficient to replace an injured pedestrian’s total accident-related financial losses.
That is why, if you were struck by a negligent driver, you should consider scheduling a free initial consultation with our legal team. By doing so, you could receive personalized, case-specific legal feedback about your case and your options for financial recovery. To get started, contact us today.
Recent data examining a decade’s worth of local police reports indicate that, out of the thousands of pedestrian accidents that have occurred, one-fifth of those collisions were hit and runs. Additionally, 17% of casualties caused by pedestrian accidents were caused by a driver who fled the scene.
Failing to remain at the scene of a pedestrian accident is a callous and cowardly act. It is also against the law. When negligent drivers strike someone while operating their vehicle and try to flee the scene, they leave an innocent community member alone in the street where they may very well lose their life. By failing to take responsibility for their negligent actions, drivers at-fault for hit and run accidents could jeopardize another human being’s life and their long-term physical health.
Those who survive hit and run accidents may be unsure of where to turn for accountability and compensation. Without the responsible driver’s insurance information, it can be difficult to know where to turn for potentially life-saving accident benefits.
In Alberta, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC) provides compensation to the victims of hit and run accidents, as well as the survivors of accidents caused by uninsured drivers. Injured pedestrians who were left alone at the location of their accident should be able to recover insurance coverage through the MVAC.
In cases involving collisions between two motor vehicles, in order to recover compensation through a civil claim, the injured party must be able to show evidence proving that the other driver’s negligence was responsible for their injury-causing accident. However, in Alberta, if a motor vehicle operator strikes and injures a pedestrian, the driver is automatically presumed to be at-fault. This is referred to as a reverse onus.
In pedestrian accident claims, the onus is on the driver to try proving that their negligence was not entirely responsible for the collision. This means that, in an attempt to reduce the settlement payment a negligent driver’s insurance provider will be required to pay an injured pedestrian accident victim, they might try asserting that the pedestrian’s own wrongful actions contributed to the circumstances that led to the collision. For example, if the pedestrian was jay-walking, crossing an intersection against the light, or failed to take other precautions to ensure their own safety, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider may try proving that the accident victim’s contributory negligence was partially responsible for their injuries.
By pursuing a civil claim against the negligent driver, injured pedestrians may be able to recover the compensation they need to move on with their lives in the challenging aftermath of their collision. However, if the at-fault driver can prove that the injured cyclist was contributorily negligent, the damages they may be required to pay could be significantly reduced.
For more information or immediate legal assistance following a pedestrian accident, contact our legal team today.
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, all prospective clients receive a free initial consultation wherein they can review the circumstances of their cases and get personalized legal feedback. Furthermore, to reduce financial barriers to accessing our legal services, our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. There are no upfront, out-of-pocket payments required. In fact, if you are eligible to work with us, you will not pay a cent for our services unless we win your case.
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