June 2015 Newsletter
The latest news and information from Warnett Hallen LLP.
- Vote for Warnett Hallen!
- On the Road with Vancouver Cycling Enthusiasts
- Pedestrian Struck in Crosswalk with Devastating Results
Vote for Warnett Hallen LLP!
Last year, all of us at Warnett Hallen LLP were honoured to be voted one of the Georgia Straight’s top three lawyers when an accident strikes.
Please help us do it again. Vote for us!
Go to 20th Annual Best of Vancouver Ballot by July 22 and vote for Warnett Hallen LLP in the category ‘Lawyers to Call When an Accident Strikes’ (on page 5 of the voting ballot).
Answer 30 questions or more and you could win a trip for two to Maui staying at the world famous Kāʻanapali Beach Resort! You can also retweet the Georgia Straight’s message or like them on Facebook for an additional entry and a better chance of winning.
Thank you for voting for Warnett Hallen LLP and best of luck in winning a trip to Maui. If you have any questions, just contact Manjot Hallen at 604-737-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Road with Vancouver Cycling Enthusiasts
Vancouver’s new segregated bike lanes, bike-only turn signals and designated bike routes are improving cyclists’ safety on the road. But these changes have come with growing pains as both drivers and cyclists learn to share the roads. ICBC reports that in the Lower Mainland from May to October each year an average of 630 cyclists are injured and four killed. At Warnett Hallen LLP, we want to foster a culture of safety for everyone on the roads of Vancouver.
More cyclists on the road than ever
We caught up with cycling instructor Paul Moffat to get his perspective on the changing world of urban cycling.
Paul tells us, “In my 20 years of riding, cycling has never been so popular! I have so many clients learning how to ride a bike, or in the case of experienced cyclists, learning how to ride more efficiently and safely. Thanks to rising fuel costs and people making greener transportation choices, cycling is seeing enormous growth.” Unfortunately for drivers though, there aren’t any cyclist licensing or training requirements, and not all cyclists take the time to learn the rules of the road or take lessons. This means drivers need to be alert when sharing the road.
Paul continues, “The mass production of bicycles means that almost anyone can afford to own a high quality bike. And bikes these days are made of stronger, lighter materials. The result? There are more cyclists than ever on our roads, and they’re on much faster bikes.”
Ten tips to keep you safe on the road this summer
- Make eye contact with drivers.
- Plan your route along designated bike lanes or streets – even if it means traveling on a less direct path.
- Follow the rules of the road as a cyclist: don’t ride on sidewalks, don’t ride against traffic or the wrong way on a one-way street, and stop when required at intersections.
- Wear bright clothes or reflective gear if traveling before dawn or after dusk.
- Use hand signals to let drivers know your intentions.
- Be patient and courteous.
- Be aware: always shoulder check, and when turning left or across a bike lane, assume cyclists are traveling faster than you think.
- When parked at the curb, look before you open the car door.
- Provide wide space margins behind and beside cyclists (cyclists are allowed to ride in the middle of a travel lane).
- Be extra cautious at intersections, especially turning right across the cycle lanes.
It looks like the next few months will be sunny and warm in Vancouver – we wish everyone a fun and safe summer!
- Cycle Coaching – contact Paul Moffat: email@example.com
- Safety Evidence for Bicycling
- CTV News – Bicycle Safety
- Vancouver Hub Resources
- Road Safety tips by ICBC
- Canadian Auto Association Bike Safety
Pedestrian Struck in Crosswalk with Devastating Results
Pedestrian fatalities make up 36% of total car accident deaths in Vancouver, with many of these accidents occurring in crosswalks where the driver is turning either right or left. The frequency of these accidents doesn’t take away from the devastating affect they can have on those involved.
In 2010, 27-year old Steven Smith (name changed for privacy) was carrying his two-year-old nephew across a marked and light-controlled intersection in Surrey, BC when he was struck by a car turning left, an accident that has radically changed his life.
Life-changing pedestrian accident
Although this case was never openly branded as distracted driving, the facts clearly show that the driver was not paying attention to the crosswalk while making his turn. It was proven that Steven was crossing appropriately. The driver hit him so hard that his nephew was knocked out of his hands, and Steven smashed into the windshield and then was thrown off of the car.
Steven had recently completed his Bachelors of Arts and Master’s degrees in Defence Studies from Panjab University in India. However, this accident made his career aspirations a thing of the past. He suffered a mild traumatic brain injury with residual post-concussion syndrome, a torn ligament in the right leg, low back pain, and dizziness and ringing in the ears. Coming to terms with changes to his post-accident life has also left him dealing with depression.
Battling for what is right
Warnett Hallen LLP has represented Steven since his accident five years ago, and they made it clear they were willing to go to battle for him. They presented a strong offer to ICBC that reflected the severity and impact of Steven’s injuries, which ICBC declined. However, threatened with a court case, ICBC came back at the 11th hour with a substantial settlement offer that addressed Steven’s loss of income potential and future cost of care to deal with the car accident injuries.
“I was feeling very well prepared and ready to go to trial,” reports personal injury lawyer Paul Warnett. “However, less than 48 hours before the start of trial, the defendants offered substantially more money to settle the claim. This highlights the importance of hiring a lawyer with the experience and skill to push the defendants to settle the claim fairly or run the risk of a trial.”
Don’t be a car accident statistic. Drive safe, walk safe.
While pedestrians must exercise reasonable care, they do have the right of way in an uncontrolled crosswalk or in the case of a controlled cross-walk, when the cross signals are activated. However, both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to conduct themselves safely. Drivers need to yield to pedestrians, and be ready for the unexpected. Pedestrians need to make eye contact with the driver before stepping into a crosswalk, and obey crossing signals. When the white hand or count-down has expired, do not enter the crosswalk.