With no airbags, vehicle frames, or even protective gear to shield them from external impacts, pedestrians involved in motor vehicle accidents have an extremely high risk of suffering severe or even fatal injuries. Even when a vehicle strikes someone at relatively low speeds, the force of impact can lead to torn ligaments or other soft tissue injuries, broken bones, damage to internal organs, brain injuries, and other traumatic injuries – any of which could have long-term or permanent repercussions.
If you were hit by a careless driver while walking, an Ottawa pedestrian accident lawyer on our team could guide you through the process of seeking Statutory Accident Benefits through your no-fault auto insurance policy. Additionally, if you can prove that another party’s negligence caused you to suffer severe and permanent physical, psychological, or cognitive injuries, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help seek compensation for your damages through a tort claim.
Under Ontario’s Insurance Act, pedestrians are eligible to seek Statutory Accident Benefits under their no-fault auto insurance policy if they are hurt by a motor vehicle, even though they were not driving at the time. As the name suggests, it is not necessary to prove fault for an accident to recover benefits through the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). A pedestrian who does not have their own automobile insurance may still be able to claim benefits through the driver’s policy, a family member’s policy, or the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
Depending on how debilitating a pedestrian’s injuries are, benefits that may be available through a SABS claim include:
If a pedestrian becomes severely or permanently injured as a result of a negligent motorist’s behaviour, they may have the right to file a tort claim against the at-fault driver in addition to claiming benefits through SABS. Unlike SABS insurance claims, civil lawsuits require injured pedestrians to prove that they sustained a permanent, serious impairment due to a motor vehicle accident.
A successful tort claim may yield compensation for non-pecuniary damages such as pain and suffering, which are intended to compensate the victim for their subjective losses like physical pain, emotional suffering, as well as pecuniary damages such as loss of income and cost of care. A lawyer practicing in the Ottawa-area could discuss the legal options available to an injured pedestrian and help them pursue the best course of action for their unique situation.
Regardless of which approach you take to recovering compensation after a pedestrian accident, you have a limited amount of time to initiate the process. You must file a SABS claim within 30 days of being struck by a vehicle, and civil lawsuits are subject to a two-year statutory filing deadline.
Consulting with an Ottawa pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible is in your best interests, so you can become fully informed of the options available to you. Call our firm today to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.
Nicholson Gluckstein Lawyers