Pedestrian accidents throughout Canada kill hundreds of people per year. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there is nearly one fatality -- statistically -- each day of each year. According to Transport Canada, pedestrians make up approximately 15% of all fatalities from auto collisions and another 15% sustain serious injuries. Of all the provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador have the fourth highest rate of fatalities (7.9 per 100,000 population) and the second highest rate of injuries (624.4 per 1000,000 population) stemming from auto accidents. These rates are well above the average for Canada altogether (5.2 and 451.6 per 100,000 population, respectively). Roughly, with these statistics, Newfoundland and Labrador may experience upwards 200 pedestrian fatalities or injuries per 100,000 people. What's worse, many of these statistics are children. In fact, child pedestrian injuries are a leading cause of injury-related deaths for children aged 14 years or younger in Canada. These are pretty significant numbers making pedestrian accidents a significant matter throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
If you or a loved family member is killed or hurt in a pedestrian-vehicle collision, you want an experienced, resourceful personal injury lawyer at your side. The claims process will be stressful enough, compounding the pain and suffering and grief you are already enduring. Strict adherence to the rules and deadlines of a claim application are required for a successful and timely claims process. Geoff Aylward, reputable personal injury lawyer, can help. He offers personalized, immediate assistance and delivers comprehensive legal representation for clients throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Pedestrians, Serious Injuries & Death
It is no wonder that the statistics for fatalities and serious injuries are so high. Pedestrians have no protection when they are struck by a vehicle. Many pedestrian accidents result in death or devastating, life-changing injuries like spinal cord and brain injuries.
Brain and spinal cord injuries can impact your day-to-day experience. You may not be able to function normally or have the ability to earn a living. Significant rehabilitation and therapy will be required. The quality of life can deteriorate dramatically. In such situations, it is critical to determine who or what caused the accident and then seek compensation accordingly. You will want to have all required evidence of your medical expenses diagnosis, prognosis, and any other information ready at the time of completing a claim.
Unfortunately, given the severity of what your injuries may be and the stress that your loved ones are enduring because of the accident, necessary documentation may be overlooked or deadlines may sneak up quickly and surprise you. You may want to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer like Geoff Aylward, to advise you of the claims process, review your claim, and counsel you on any other relevant matters. Getting the claim right first helps prevent the stress of a denied claim. You will specifically want an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer like Geoff Aylward review your case and ensure that fair and reasonable compensation is paid. For car accident personal injury cases, you don't pay Geoff Aylward until you receive your compensation. That knowledge alone can help relieve some of the anxiety you may be experiencing.
Pedestrian Accidents: Liability & Compensation
Drivers have a duty of care to use due caution and pay attention to pedestrians regardless if they are in crosswalks or walking alongside the road. Drivers must always be alert to a pedestrian, anticipating that someone may suddenly walk out into the street because he or she did not see the vehicle or misjudged the speed and believed there was enough time to cut across the road. Fault will depend greatly on the circumstances, but motorists always have a duty of care to pay attention to his or her surroundings.
You, as a pedestrian, on the other hand, are not without responsibility. You must cross streets legally and use caution when walking anywhere near or along a road.
Both the at-fault driver and owner of the vehicle that struck you is usually responsible to pay the damages. If you are the injured pedestrian, an experienced injury lawyer like Geoff Aylward will deal directly with the insurer of the at-fault party to prove liability and recover damages on your behalf. If the vehicle that struck you is not covered by insurance or is unidentified but you have your own auto insurance, you should be entitled to recover under a special provision in the standard policy. If you are not covered by your own insurance, you will be able to recover from the Judgement Recovery Fund.
Regardless the source of compensation, the priority is getting that compensation. There are very strict immediate time limits that must be followed. In the case of an unidentified vehicle, for example, police must be notified within 24 hours. Other procedures have to be taken within 30 days. Contact a reputable lawyer like Geoff Aylward to assist you so that deadlines do not pass you by and prevent you from collecting compensation.
Common Causes of Accidents Involving Pedestrians
The cause(s) of a car accident with a pedestrian will indicate who is at fault for the accident. Some of the causes of pedestrian accidents for which drivers may be held at fault include:
- Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian at crosswalks
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals
- Not being extra attentive and careful in school zones and playground areas
- Passing a school bus when stop signals activated
- Not being careful in areas of high pedestrian traffic - parking lots, special events
- Not being mindful of passengers disembarking from other vehicles including buses
- Depending on the pedestrian to avoid the accident especially if the pedestrian is a child
- Driver distraction and inattention
- Failure to exercise extra care and to slow down on approaching a blind turn or blind hill
- Driving too fast for road, weather conditions or at night especially on roadways / shoulders which are traveled by pedestrians.
Pedestrians: Protect Yourself on Newfoundland & Labrador Roadways
Pedestrians must always be aware of their surroundings, even when they are clearly in the right-of-way. You can never assume a motorist sees you and will stop or yield. To minimize your risk to drivers and help prevent accidents, consider the following when walking along roadways in Newfoundland:
First and foremost, be visible to motorists, especially during dusk or dawn or in certain weather conditions that reduce visibility. Wear reflective clothing, if possible, especially for children. If you are dressed in dark clothes, it will be harder for motorists to see you. If you are walking at night for exercise and have a choice, walk in an area that is reasonably well lit.
Walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic. Be extra vigilant if you are wearing headphones. Be ultra-careful if approaching drivers when they are driving into the sun. If you are on a gravel shoulder, maintain a safe distance from the paved surface.
Know your surroundings.
At all times you must be aware of your surroundings, and if you have small children with you, you must always be careful that the children do not try to go into traffic. Children are small visual targets. Have your children walk to your right as you will be the most visible visual target. If you can, be aware of evasive measures that you can take to avoid a wayward vehicle that approaches you even if that means jumping into a ditch.
Use Crosswalks & Sidewalks.
When crossing a street, always use crosswalks when they are available. Of course, in smaller communities, crosswalks are few and far between each other, but if they do exist, use them. Intersections are always safer to cross the road, too, than crossing elsewhere if crosswalks are not available. When walking along a road, always use a sidewalk or path. If not available, then walk on the shoulder facing oncoming traffic.
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer: When to Contact One?
You should contact a pedestrian accident and personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able to do so. The sooner an experienced lawyer is contacted, the sooner you can file a claim and receive compensation.
At Geoff Aylward Law Office, you get the service you require and the personal attention you need. Geoff Aylward knows the law, the court system, and the insurance industry. He and his staff provide their services with compassion. They are always available to answer questions because they know in times like these, an unanswered question only adds weight to the stress you are already undergoing. Contact Personal Injury Lawyer Geoff Aylward today. If you need immediate after-hours assistance, Lawyer Geoff Aylward can be reached by text at 709-743-1708 or by email at [email protected].