It’s almost summertime and as more people head out onto the sidewalks and streets, it’s more important than ever for drivers and pedestrians to look out for each other.
Many times it is asked “well who is at fault?”. It is not an easy answer and before attempting to answer this question, a brief layout of the important laws must be set out.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR PEDESTRIANS?
- use a sidewalk or path beside a roadway if one is available;
- walk on the shoulder of a roadway facing oncoming traffic if no sidewalk or path is available;
- cross a roadway as quickly as possible;
- yield to vehicles when not crossing in a crosswalk; and
- obey pedestrian control signals.
Pedestrians must not:
- step onto the roadway, including a crosswalk, if a vehicle is too close to stop in time;
- cross an intersection when facing a yellow or red light;
- cross an intersection when facing a flashing green light;
WHAT IS A CROSSWALK?
- that part of a roadway at an intersection between two curbs or, where there is no sidewalk from the edges of the roadway;
- any part of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by signs or by lines or by other markings on the road surface;
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR DRIVERS?
Drivers must yield to pedestrians:
- when exiting or entering driveways or alleyways;
- after stopping at a red light, stop sign or yield sign;
- when the pedestrians are in a crosswalk, marked or unmarked;
Drivers must also watch out for pedestrians even when they are not in a crosswalk.
SO WHO IS AT FAULT WHEN A CAR HITS A PEDESTRIAN?
In Alberta, the onus is on the drivers to watch out for and avoid hitting pedestrians. For that reason, a driver will be held responsible for hitting a pedestrian unless the driver can prove that:
- They were following the rules of the road;
- The pedestrian was not following the rules of the road; and
- The driver could not have avoided hitting the pedestrian.
If the pedestrian was not following the rules of the road, a court may find that the driver was only partly responsible for the collision, or even that the driver is not responsible at all. For example, where the pedestrian:
- stepped onto an unmarked crosswalk without checking for vehicles;
- was jaywalking;
- was walking on the side of a road instead of on the adjacent path or sidewalk;
- was running across a busy intersection; or
- failed to keep a proper look out for cars.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS IF GET HIT BY A CAR?
A pedestrian that is hit by a vehicle is considered an insured under the driver’s insurance policy. This means that the driver’s insurance company will pay for the pedestrian’s medical treatments for up to 2 years after the date of the accident.
Accessing these benefits under the driver’s insurance policy does not affect the pedestrian’s ability to sue the driver for pain and suffering.
HOW CAN MOUSTARAH & COMPANY HELP?
If you have been hit by a vehicle, the personal injury lawyers at Moustarah & Company can help guide you through the claims process and determine how much your personal injury claim is worth. Contact Moustarah & Company today to book a free consultation.
The information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. Moustarah & Company does not guarantee that this information is accurate or up to date. As a result, should you require legal advice, please contact a personal injury lawyer.