According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), there were 3,100 “incidents” involving pedestrians throughout BC in 2016. This represents an increase of nearly 30% from the number of pedestrian accidents in the province reported in 2012. Clearly, even as cars and trucks are designed to be safer for their occupants, pedestrians walking the streets are even more at-risk for serious injury or death.
During the same 2016 reporting period, ICBC said there were 97 pedestrian accidents in Prince George and the rest of the North Central region. This yielded seven fatalities and 78 injuries. While these figures pale in comparison to the casualty figures from other parts of BC, even one injury is one too many, especially if the victim is you or a close family member.
The sad truth is that many pedestrian accidents are the result of motorist negligence. Drivers often fail to respect the rights of pedestrians, failing to yield at crosswalks or failing to keep a proper lookout. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable during the fall and winter months, when daylight is scarce and pedestrians may not be as visible to drivers.
At Preszler Law Firm, we help pedestrian accident victims seek compensation for their physical and emotional injuries, both through legal action against the negligent driver and by pursuing benefits under your own ICBC insurance plan. Our experienced lawyers can help you build and present your case to ICBC or a BC Supreme Court judge. Pedestrians are often at a legal disadvantage because of the false perception that they are somehow “responsible” for a negligent driver’s actions. We can help ensure the legal system treats you fairly and responsibly.
Most pedestrian accidents occur at intersections. There are many reasons why a motorist fails to stop in time before striking a pedestrian who is lawfully in the crosswalk and has the right of way. Oftentimes, drivers are simply distracted–looking at their phone and not the road–and do not think to look for pedestrians. In other cases, motorists are simply driving too fast and fail to give themselves sufficient room to slow down and stop at the intersection.
Of course, drivers often try to claim afterward that the pedestrian “came out of nowhere.” There are some cases in which the pedestrian may be acting recklessly. Keep in mind, under BC law a motorist still has a legal responsibility to keep a lookout for, and yield to, pedestrians, even if they are outside a specially designated crosswalk or may be wearing dark clothing that impairs visibility.
Given the potential for disputed liability in a pedestrian accident, it is especially crucial for you to work with a lawyer who has the resources and experience to fully investigate what actually happened. At Preszler Law Firm, we know how to examine an accident scene and, when possible, reconstruct the events leading up to your injuries. We will also work with your health care providers to fully document your damages, which may include not just your past medical expenses, but also future costs of care.
Many BC pedestrians are injured in “hit and run” accidents, where the negligent driver flees the scene in violation of BC law, and is never identified by the victim or the police. Even if you cannot locate a defendant, you may still be able to receive compensation from ICBC. If you are covered by an ICBC Basic Autoplan, you already have unidentified and uninsured motorist protection. This is coverage that applies whenever you are hit by a driver who either lacks insurance or is never identified. This coverage does not require you be in a car at the time of the accident; it also covers pedestrian accidents.
Just because you have uninsured and unidentified coverage, however, does not mean that ICBC will necessarily pay your claim without resistance. Once again, there may be questions regarding exactly what happened, whether you were somehow responsible for the accident, and the extent of your actual injuries. The lawyers at Preszler Law Firm have extensive experience when it comes to dealing with ICBC, so we can help ensure you are not pressured into signing a statement or accepting a low settlement offer for your claim.
If you are involved in a hit and run claim, you must take all reasonable steps to try and identify the driver of the vehicle otherwise your claim will be barred. This generally means canvassing the area of witnesses, putting up witnesses wanted signs, putting an ad in the newspaper and reporting the accident to ICBC and the police right away.
If you are concerned that you may not be able to afford legal representation following a pedestrian accident, the Preszler Law Firm works exclusively on a contingency basis. This means we never charge you any upfront fees, and we do not get paid unless you recover compensation. So, if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and need legal advice on what steps to take next, contact Preszler Law Firm in Prince George today at 1-844-373-8202 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.