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.
Have a safe and happy Halloween from everyone here at Moustarah & Company.
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 lawyer.
1. The driver of the vehicle is presumed to be at fault.
Ordinarily, in car accident litigation, the injured party or “plaintiff” has the legal burden to prove that the driver of the other car was negligent or that their conduct was improper. However, this is not the case where the plaintiff was a pedestrian or cyclist who was hit by a car. In pedestrian and cyclist collisions, the driver of the vehicle is presumed to be negligent, unless the driver can demonstrate that their negligence was not the sole/only cause of the pedestrian or cyclist’s injuries or losses.
2. But they may argue that you were contributorily negligent.
Under the Traffic Safety Act, the driver is presumed to be at fault and to have been negligent, as described above. However, the driver (or their insurance company or lawyer) can still argue a concept known as contributory negligence. This means that even if the driver was negligent and their negligence caused the accident, the pedestrian or cyclist could still be held partially responsible for the collision if the pedestrian or cyclist failed to take reasonable steps to look out for their own safety. For example, a pedestrian could be held to be partly responsible and contributorily negligent for their own injuries if they were crossing the road in an unsafe and unreasonable manner, such as if they were unaware of their surroundings. Or for example, a court could rule that a cyclist is partly responsible for their own injuries and losses if they were not wearing a helmet and they suffered from a head injury that a helmet could have prevented.
3. You may be eligible for benefits and coverage for treatments through the vehicle owner’s insurance.
As a part of every car insurance policy in Alberta, there is a bit of coverage known as “