What pedestrians, cyclists and drivers need to know about being in a
n accident collision in Toronto
Illustrations by Jody Hocs
The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates that an average of six pedestrians are hit each day in Toronto, a city that also has the highest number of cyclist collisions in the country. Automobile drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians are all at risk of injury when navigating Toronto streets but many don’t think ahead about how to protect themselves legally.
The information below will be valuable for all road users to know if they find themselves in a collision
1. Consider your burden of guilt: If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist and you are hit by a car, a reverse onus applies and the automobile driver is presumed guilty. Usually vulnerable road users are innocent until proven guilty. Automobiles that strike a pedestrian or cyclist are presumed guilty and at fault for the accident.
2. Compile information at the scene: Make sure you get all information from all parties at the scene if possible. This includes witnesses. This information could be extremely valuable later on.
3. Don’t sign anything: It is important you do not sign anything with any insurance company until you speak with a lawyer. This includes any statements you give. Anything provided to the insurance company can be used against you later on in the event of a lawsuit.
4.Organize your evidence: Taking action while injured can seem overwhelming but it is important that you act quickly. Organize all information taken at the scene and compile other evidence like photographs as quickly as possible after the accident. Keeping a detailed record and organizing it accordingly will make a difference if legal action follows.
5.Call a lawyer: Explore your options early by calling a reputable personal injury lawyer. Many will not charge you for an initial consultation and don’t require payment unless you are awarded with compensation. Remember, if you are not at fault, you have a right to compensation regardless if the person that hit you had no insurance. This holds true even if you have no insurance. All innocent parties can be compensated for their injuries in Ontario.
It is important to note that in the Canadian system, injured parties are entitled to greater accident benefits if you are catastrophic, which means that as a result of the accident you required amputation, became paraplegic or quadriplegic, suffer from blindness in both eyes or are disabled by 55 per cent or more. This must be determined by a medical doctor.
As the weather improves and more people opt to walk and cycle, it will be important that this information is in the hands of all Torontonians who find themselves in an unfortunate accident with another road user.
dandyhorse (via ARC) would like to add that you should get a copy of all witnesses names, the name of the police officer, and also stay on the ground until the ambulance shows up.
Related on the dandyBLOG:
Check out more illustrations by Jody Hocs here (for the dandy Winter 2012 poster)