Your Rights and Responsibilities as a Pedestrian

As a pedestrian, you have a right to cross the road safely and without harm, although you also have your own set of responsibilities.

Rights as a pedestrian

In British Columbia, pedestrians often have the right of way at a crosswalk. This most obvious is when a traffic control signal is displaying the ‘walk’ sign. If a crosswalk does not have traffic control signals but it is clearly indicated as a pedestrian crossing, then once again pedestrians will have right of way.

Therefore the matter of a ‘crosswalk’ is an important one, as these are the only locations where a pedestrian may have right of way. If you strike out into the middle of the road and you are not at a crosswalk (with or without traffic control signals) then vehicles cannot be expected to stop for you.

Responsibilities as a pedestrian

As a pedestrian, you also have a responsibility to look after your own safety. For example, you should not step out into the road unless you have assessed that it is safe to do so. If you cross the road in front of a vehicle that could not reasonably be expected to stop in time, then you may be partly at fault for any injuries you sustain.

Similarly, if you do not look around for oncoming traffic before (or while) crossing the road and you are involved in an accident, there could be a case of ‘contributory negligence’. This is particularly true if the accident happened while it was dark and/or weather conditions were adverse.

Pedestrian claiming personal injury

Nevertheless, each case that involves a pedestrian claiming personal injury will be assessed according to the individual set of circumstances. In the majority of these, the driver will be at fault, as most occur at a crosswalk when the pedestrian did, in fact, have right of way. Such accidents happen throughout the year, although are more common during the winter months.

As a pedestrian, you are very vulnerable and will have no protection against a motor vehicle collision. Even if the vehicle is travelling at a relatively slow speed, the impact can still result in devastating injuries ranging from broken bones to brain damage. This can be extremely traumatic, not only physically, but also emotionally and financially.

Are you a pedestrian claiming personal injury?

If you have been hurt as a pedestrian, you are legally entitled to pursue a claim for the damages you have sustained. Personal injury claims can relate to all kind of accidents, including those involving cyclists, passengers, and indeed pedestrians. So if you have been injured through no fault of your own, please do not suffer in silence.

Instead, we recommend that you contact a solicitor who specializes in road accident claims. A solicitor will be able to advise you whether or not you have grounds for a claim. If so, a solicitor can handle the entire case on your behalf, working to get the compensation you deserve.

Pedestrian claiming personal injury solicitors

If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer to help you with a pedestrian claim, please do not hesitate to contact us at John Mickelson Law Corporation. Either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.


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