The following are steps you should take after a collision:
- Call 911 to report the accident to police and receive medical services if necessary. Make sure to obtain a copy of the accident report for your records.
- If you are able, take photographs of the scene of the accident.
- Don’t say anything regarding fault as this could be used against you at a later time.
- Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the driver who hit you.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who were present during and after the accident occurred. Their testimony could help later in a case. Also get any pictures that witnesses may have taken at the scene of the accident.
- To protect your health, it is important to seek medical assistance for your injuries. Even when injuries seem minor at first, a thorough medical exam could catch a potentially life-threatening condition. A doctor will also be able to provide you with records detailing the injuries you’ve suffered, medications prescribed, treatment and rehabilitation expenses, and whether an accident-related disability prevents you from working.
- Preserve any evidence relating to the accident, including the shoes and clothes you were wearing, any photos taken at the accident, hospital bills and medical records, and anything else pertinent to your case. Make sure to store this evidence in a safe place to be used later.
If you were unable to complete all of these steps, do not panic. Contact our lawyers for guidance about your legal options.
Compensation for Pedestrians in ICBC Claims
If you were injured as a pedestrian who was hit by a car, you may recover benefits by filing a claim with ICBC. Because ICBC offers the same no-fault benefits available to drivers in a car accident as they do pedestrians hit by an ICBC-insured vehicle, you may be entitled to the same Part 7 benefits.
Generally, ICBC must provide benefits after an accident regardless of fault. These benefits cover medical and rehabilitation expenses, disability benefits if you were employed at the time of the accident and now you cannot work, homemaker benefits if you need assistance around the house, and funeral expenses and survivor benefits where a pedestrian is killed in a collision.
Further damages that you may be entitled to in a claim where the motorist is at fault include:
- Future care expenses included those resulting from medical care and at-home care
- Future loss of earning capacity and wages
- Damages related to your pain and suffering endured as a result
Sometimes recovery will turn on whether the pedestrian or the driver had the right-of-way at the time of the collision. Under the Motor Vehicle Act, a pedestrian has the right-of-way when they use the crosswalk and they are either (1) on the same side of the road as an approaching vehicle, or (2) on the other side of the road and a car is approaching so as to put the pedestrian in danger.
When a pedestrian chooses to jaywalk or fails to use a crosswalk to cross a street, the pedestrian may not have the right-of-way. However, even if you attempted to cross a road without use of a crosswalk, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
How Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Can Help You
When you are injured as a pedestrian as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You may need a lawyer’s assistance in dealing with ICBC and ensuring you are following the correct procedure for filing a claim so that you can receive the benefits you are entitled to.
If ICBC refuses to cover some or all of your injuries, our skilled pedestrian accident lawyers can work to prove the fault of the negligent person who caused your injuries. Our experienced lawyers know how to fight insurance companies attempting to settle with you for less than you deserve.
At Warnett Hallen LLP, our personal injury lawyers know how important it is to recover maximum compensation. In order to recover fully from medical bills and lost wages, you need the right compensation. Our lawyers know the best strategies for achieving full compensation in your case.
We understand that accident-related injuries bring about extremely stressful challenges. Our compassionate personal injury lawyers are here so you don’t have to face those challenges alone. In addition to fighting for fair compensation for your injuries, our lawyers are here to provide you with the support you need so that you can focus on returning to your life.
Time Limits for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
A statute of limitations puts a time limit on how long you have to file a claim. Attempts to file a claim after the statute of limitations has passed will be barred.
All personal injuries in Vancouver have a two-year statute of limitations. This means that you will have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for compensation for your injuries.
Though this can seem like a long time, it is important that you get started on your claim as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is for crucial evidence to disappear.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
In a pedestrian accident, victims often receive cuts, bruises, lacerations, and road rash. Because of the increased vulnerability you face as a pedestrian, your injuries resulting from a collision have the potential to be catastrophic. Some of these more serious injuries include:
Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents also result in death.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Often pedestrians are hit by vehicles as a result of the negligence or aggressiveness of the driver. Common driver errors and conduct contributing to pedestrian injuries resulting from accidents can include:
- Not abiding by traffic laws and failing to adhere to traffic signs, such as failing to stop fully at a stop sign
- Failing to yield to the pedestrian’s right-of-way
- Driving while distracted, especially texting and driving
- Driving while drowsy or tired
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Attempting to pass another vehicle when view of the crosswalk is obstructed or otherwise not clear
Tips for Pedestrian Safety
Because pedestrian accidents are so serious, it is best to avoid them if at all possible. In order to protect yourself while walking the Vancouver streets, take the following precautions:
- Illuminate yourself. if wearing dark clothing try to light up yourself, bag or umbrella. There are various ways to achieve this – by wearing reflective vests, or tape, put a flashlight or blinking light on your case or backpack, wear glow bracelets or carry a light-up umbrella if it is raining.
- Stop, look and listen. Take the time to stop at intersections or crosswalks.
- Always cross the street at a marked crosswalk.
- Never assume a driver will see you. Make sure vehicles are stopped before stepping onto the street.
- Focus! Put your books and all electronic devices away until you arrive safely at home. Distracted walking can be just as dangerous as distracted driving.
Furthermore, follow these safety tips whenever you encounter a crosswalk:
- Stop at the curb or edge of the street.
- Wait for the walk signal.
- Look all ways before stepping off the curb (left, right, behind and in front).
- Look both ways continuously while crossing the street.
- Make eye contact with all drivers.
- Don’t run, but walk across the street.
- Never walk behind a vehicle.
Of course, even if you take every precaution, some pedestrian accidents will still occur. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation with the help of an experienced lawyer.