Pedestrians, like motorcyclists and bicyclists, are at risk for severe injury and death in any type of traffic accident. Without any type of bodily protection, pedestrians can sustain the worst kinds of physical damage when hit by a car, truck or SUV. Injuries may range from broken bones, sprains, ruptured discs, gashes and torn ligaments to catastrophic injuries involving damage to the brain and spinal cord. All of these injuries can lead to the loss of wages due to the inability to work and the need for extensive present and future medical care. Pain, suffering and even permanent disability may result. In the most extreme cases involving brain injuries and paralysis arising from complete spinal cord injury, pedestrian injuries may result in the need for lifetime personal assistance.
According to ICBC statistics, in 2016, 2,600 individuals were hurt and 63 killed in pedestrian traffic collisions in British Columbia. Those over the age of 61 had the highest fatality rate that year. Of those injured, 15 percent were aged 61 or older and 20 percent were between the ages of 21 and 30. Intersections were the most likely location for pedestrian injuries (53 percent) and deaths (32 percent).
Major Causes of BC Pedestrian Accidents
According to ICBC, the top contributing factors affecting pedestrians involved in accidents are their error or confusion, alcohol and failure to yield the right of way to others. The top contributing factors affecting drivers involved in pedestrian accidents are driver inattention, failing to yield the right of way and driver error or confusion. Drivers may fail to see pedestrians due to their own lack of attention while behind the wheel. Even at very low speeds, a vehicle hitting a human body can pose an enormous risk of death or grievous bodily injury.
Most pedestrian accidents resulting in injury or death occur when the pedestrian is crossing the street, whether at a crosswalk or at an unmarked crossing. The most common pedestrian injuries are to the legs, hips and head. The most common injuries leading to death are fractures, internal injuries and bleeding.
Consequences of a Pedestrian Accident
Following a pedestrian accident, the victim may need immediate and intensive medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injuries, extensive rehabilitative care or occupational therapy treatment may be required lasting weeks, months or indefinitely. The medical and out-of-pocket expenses created by this situation may be considerable and are often compounded by the victim’s inability to work. Family members may be required to provide personal assistance to the victim as well. All of this can place an enormous strain on the victim as well as his or her family.
In the face of all this, a pedestrian accident victim may not have the time, attention or ability to go through the often confusing and frustrating ICBC claims process. Getting the skilled assistance of a lawyer who deals with these types of situations every day can be a valuable asset. Mike Coric exclusively represents victims of accidents, never the insurance company. He has over 15 years of experience as a BC trial lawyer handling these types of accident cases and he knows how to fight aggressively to help you achieve fair and just compensation for all of your damages, both past and future. Following any pedestrian accident, you should speak with him right away about your situation to learn what he can do as your legal representative. He offers a contingency fee arrangement, which means you do not have to pay any money until you receive compensation from ICBC.