Wondering what happens if you hit a pedestrian in Canada? Have several questions in mind whether it is a punishable offence or how much is the punishment or settlement? Then this is the perfect article that can help you.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the circumstances.
What Injuries Can a Pedestrian Accident Cause?
Pedestrian accidents cause different types of injuries. However, some may result in catastrophic injury, like death, as they get hurt in the brain or head.
Some fatal injuries are:
- Traumatic asphyxia
- Massive blunt force trauma
- Multiple traumatic injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe head injuries
Some non-fatal injuries are:
- Back and spinal injury
- Contusions and lacerations
- Orthopedic injuries (Including fractured arms, legs, feet, hands, or ribcage)
Who Is Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?
At first, when you think about a pedestrian getting into an accident with a car, you might think that the driver in that car is surely responsible.
However, most pedestrian accidents happen due to a driver’s negligence. For instance, the driver could be drunk.
But, there is another aspect to consider—the pedestrian can take a path that they aren’t supposed to cross. Considering road safety rules, this is a violation. And the pedestrian is contributing to the accident.
Given these aspects, to find out who is liable, both parties should show evidence to validate their degree of fault or prove their innocence.
Get more details about identifying the guilty party in the next section.
What Law Says to Identify the Guilty of a Pedestrian Accident?
There are two scenarios when it comes to proving who is guilty in a pedestrian claim:
Reverse Onus for the Driver
This rule is an important element of pedestrian accident claims and the criminal code of Canada.
And the reverse onus rule applies when a driver has been accused of an accident that occurred.
The rule requires the driver to prove that they were driving lawfully and that the pedestrian is the one who is at fault.
To prove a driver is not guilty, the driver must provide enough evidence. Examples of some evidence can be:
- Video footage of the accident
- Or an expert’s testimony
If the driver can’t provide persuasive evidence, they will be at fault for the accident.
Contributory Negligence of a Pedestrian
This law says–when the negligence of the pedestrian is proven in an accident, they must show evidence to prove to what extent they are guilty of the accident.
For instance, a pedestrian could bear 50% responsibility for an accident. As a result, the compensation they are supposed to get for the accident, the amount will be reduced by 50%.
Some of the evidence in terms of contributory negligence can be actions like:
- Pedestrian wasn’t following road and traffic rules
- Driver was driving carefully following the rules
Also, you can bring eyewitnesses who can explain the actions of both parties.
Penalties for a Pedestrian Accident in Canada
The criminal court finds whether you violated the law and eventually punishes an offender. This means that you’ll get charged when there is any reasonable doubt.
There are no criminal charges for car accidents. But if you’re a reckless driver, you will get charges.
Here are some charges that you might get if you hit a pedestrian in Canada:
A police officer can cite you if you violate the traffic rules and regulations. Some common examples of traffic violations are:
- Running over red light or stop sign
- Failing to yield
- Distracted driving
- Making unnecessary lane changes
When you violate traffic rules and regulations, you will face traffic infractions. Eventually, this will cause jail time. As traffic infractions, many drivers face penalties like fines, demerit points, or traffic school.
Additionally, these traffic infractions can cause the insurance rate to increase, which is admissible evidence. In an accident, you should take the help of a lawyer if you face traffic infractions.
Hit and run
After an accident, you should stop at the scene, provide your information and help the victims by calling 911. If you fail to stop after an accident, you cause the victim’s problems and risk yourself in a hit-and-run accident.
The penalty and fines usually vary according to the seriousness of an accident. Around the states, many accidents result in death or serious injury. Therefore, they get charged for jail time or a felony.
DUI (Driving under the influence)
DUI (Driving under the influence) is a minor crime. However, the DUI offender can severely injure or kill a pedestrian. They will eventually face jail time or felony DUI. In this case, the prison time tends to be lengthy. On the other hand, the offender also needs to pay high fines.
What to Do If You Hit a Pedestrian in Canada
In reality, an accident is linked to many different issues. And if you’re involved in an accident, you will get more burdened with future scenarios.
Here are some things you should do if you are ever involved in pedestrian hit cases in Canada.
Help the pedestrian
It’s very important to stay at the accident scene. Therefore, you should help the pedestrian like a human being. But if you hit a pedestrian, it’s your responsibility to help them.
However, some people tend to escape after the accident. You will eventually fall into trouble as the victim will want compensation for damages. Other than the victim, their family might also file a claim.
Additionally, at every crime scene, there are eyewitnesses. They would help the victim, and some may even decide to call the police. Almost everyone seeks help, like medical assistance, through the police.
Therefore, it’s essential to stay at the accident scene. Along with that, you should take the pedestrian to a safe place. If you’re confused, you should immediately call 911 for help. They will assist.
If you fail to do these, any witness or offender’s family might help the victim. Finally, you will fall into trouble resulting in higher compensation.
Collect all available information
After an accident, make sure to collect the injured person’s information. In case you help them, you should take pictures. Additionally, you must exchange all information with each other.
Failing to do this can cause trouble for you. If a witness gets your vehicle’s number plate, they can let the police know. Hence, the police can automatically find you.
You can apply these same rules while taking pictures. Besides your information, the witnesses can take videos and pictures of the crime scene. Finally, the police will get them, and you will face higher compensation.
To prove the pedestrian allegation, you need to have some important evidence. This is very important as you require proof for your case. Similarly, the victim would also do the same.
Here are a few examples of the evidence you may collect:
- Photograph: You can take pictures of the accident scene. This would help you to reduce the claim amount. However, you should do this only when you find the area to be safe.
- Reports: You would have a report when you seek help from the medical and police. This would be very helpful as proof.
- CCTV footage: It is significant proof to get the actual situation. If you look around, you will surely find one or two cameras that recorded the situation. Hence, you can ask the authorized person to help you. If the victim’s car has a dash cam, you can utilize its footage.
- Eyewitnesses: After an accident, it is obvious that there are some eyewitnesses available. You can get help from them. You can also refute the claim against the victim. Like you, the victim will also seek for eyewitnesses to get proof.
Involve the law enforcement
After an accident, you should immediately call 911 for help. Most people seek medical help and sit confused about what to do next. The police can determine whether you’ll get charged when the injuries are minor. If the injuries are major, the police will also inform you about the charges.
In most cases, you may face charges and pay the victim’s insurance. However, these situations tend to vary based on eyewitnesses and evidence. The court will determine the evidence and file claims accordingly.
Claim for pedestrian accident
You can claim whether you’re a defendant or a victim. In most situations, the victim claims at first, taking the help of a lawyer. Next, you can continue with your process.
In this situation, you will surely need a lawyer. They will examine your case and let you know whether you’re eligible for a claim.
The 3 main aspects that the lawyer will review are:
- Did you try to help the victim?
- Did your reckless behaviour cause the accident?
- What is the physical and mental situation of the pedestrian?
Claim to compensate the pedestrian
As every pedestrian accident differs, you won’t get any fixed claim amount for the victim. For instance, you hit a pedestrian and dislocate the knee. In such a situation, you will require to pay a specific amount.
But you will require to pay more if you knock a pedestrian and cause brain damage. They would suffer more in such a situation. Usually, the lawyers decide this amount. This means that the defender’s lawyer or your lawyer would finalize the claim amount.
The amount is calculated based on two different damages:
- Special damage: In this damage, you need to compensate for the loss and expenses caused by accident. For instance, the pedestrian can ask for income loss, clothes damaged in the accident, medical costs, etc.
- General damage: In this damage, you need to compensate for the pain and suffering caused by accident. In most cases, these are major injuries for a victim.
What Is the Average Settlement in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
The average settlement amount will be in the range of $2000 to $200,000.
The amount is determined by examining several factors, such as:
- Severity or types of the accident
- Driver’s insurance
- Pedestrian’s legal actions
Now, accidents can basically be of two types. Find out what can be the settlement amount for injury and death.
Settlement Amount When Hit Buy a Car and Injured
You can be hit by a car, and the injury can be severe. Then again, you need to think: how severely you’re injured?
To show the damage of the incident, you can present:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Lawyer fees
Or other expenses related to the accident. So, the compensation amount can be as high as $100,000.
Note that, if it’s a brain injury, the settlement will be higher. Not to mention, a person with brain injury struggles badly.
Settlement Amount for Death
Imagine the driver is entirely at fault. To be more specific, a driver was drunk driving, and they hit someone crossing the road lawfully which resulted in death.
If a driver kills someone while driving, the driver will have to compensate the family with an amount higher than $200,000.
What Happens If You Hit Someone while they were jaywalking?
You might be responsible for paying a pedestrian’s medical bills if you hit them while they are jaywalking. Their bodily injury claim covers their past, present, and future medical expenses as well as their past and future pain, suffering, mental anguish, and lost wages.
You always have a responsibility as a driver of a car to drive sensibly, cautiously, and to keep an eye out for roadways. You must also drive so as not to harm anyone’s safety or that of any property as the driver of a car.
As a result, even if a pedestrian is jaywalking against the law, you could still be held responsible for hitting them. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the road in front of you at all times and keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially if you’re in a neighborhood or close to a school. Don’t think that individuals won’t cross the street if you see them walking on the sidewalk, the street, or toward their car.
By now, we hope you got the answer to “what happens if you hit a pedestrian in Canada.” If you unintentionally hit a pedestrian, you can take a few steps. Unfortunately, you should seek help from a lawyer to pay less compensation. As they deal with such cases regularly, there’s more chance for them to help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? Here are some answers that might help you:
What to do if you get hit by a car while walking?
You should immediately call 911 if you get hit by a car while walking. Next, you should move to a safe place. Make sure to stop the driver who caused the accident so that they can’t leave the accident scene. Finally, contact the police and let them know.
What happens if you hit a pedestrian on the highway?
If you hit a pedestrian on the highway, they can file a lawsuit and claim damages. However, you don’t need to face criminal charges rather than some fines. Some monetary damages include lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills.
Do pedestrians have the right of way in Canada?
No, the pedestrian doesn’t have the right of way in Canada other than a crosswalk on the highway. For one’s safety, you can’t deny the common law rules and regulations. You will get injuries when you have contributory negligence.
Who is at fault for hitting jaywalker?
Usually, both parties are at fault for hitting a jaywalker. Therefore, you and the victim will be liable for the accident.