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Ontario Pedestrian-Car Accident Law: Rights of Injured Pedestrians

Under Ontario pedestrian-car accident law, a pedestrian who is hit by a car in Kingston and injured may be able to file a claim or lawsuit against the driver. However, as this article will discuss below, the viability of such a claim/lawsuit depends on the nature and extent of the physical injuries and whether they meet a certain legal threshold, per the Ontario Insurance Act.  In addition, an injured pedestrian may also be able to receive Statutory Accident Benefits (SAB) pursuant to the Ontario Insurance Act regardless of whether there is a lawsuit.

Related: Steps to Take After an Ontario Car Accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby

Filing a Claim Against the Driver Who Hit the Pedestrian

Though the injured pedestrian was not operating a vehicle at the time of the accident, the Ontario Insurance Act applies to an injured pedestrian in the same way as it applies to an injured driver or passenger who is injured in a car or truck accident in Kingston or Ottawa.

Per the Ontario Insurance Act, injured pedestrians may only sue the drivers that hit them if the “threshold” to sue is met.  Pedestrians may only sue the drivers if they sustained:

(a) permanent serious disfigurement; or
(b) permanent serious impairment of an important physical, mental or psychological function.

Permanent Serious Disfigurement/Impairment

For example, if a pedestrian lost his leg as a result of the accident, then he sustained a permanent serious disfigurement and impairment of an important physical function.  Therefore, he will be able to sue the driver.  However, if the pedestrian sprained his ankle as a result, he will not be able to sue the driver because his injury is not a permanent serious disfigurement or impairment of an important physical function.

Filing for Accident Benefits from the Pedestrian’s Car Insurance Company

If the injured pedestrian does not meet the “threshold” to sue, he may still obtain compensation from his own car insurance company.  It is important to note that pedestrians who do meet the “threshold” to sue may also obtain accident benefits from their car insurance companies, in addition to filing claims against the drivers that hit them.

Like an injured driver or passenger in a car or truck accident in Ontario, an injured pedestrian may obtain the following accident benefits:

• medical and rehabilitation care benefits,
• income replacement benefits,
• caregiver benefits,
• reimbursement for housekeeping and home maintenance, and
• in the event of death, death and funeral benefits.

Filing for Accident Benefits from the Driver’s Car Insurance Company

What if the injured pedestrian does not own a car or is not covered by any applicable car insurance policies? In that case, he can apply for accident benefits from the at fault driver’s car insurance company.

Ontario car accident and auto insurance laws are very complex.  It is important for injured pedestrians to contact a car accident lawyer at the first opportunity in order to receive the full and fair financial compensation available to them.  The lawyers at Bergeron Clifford can help; they have extensive experience helping injured pedestrians who are hit by cars in Ottawa and Kingston. Call for a FREE consultation. 1-866-384-5886.


Contact Bergeron | Clifford LLP

Let us help you if you have been injured anywhere in Eastern Ontario. Contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We can meet at any of our office locations, including Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth or wherever is most convenient for you.

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