Sources of Insurance Coverage for Injured PedestriansMarch 10, 2023
Pedestrians who are struck while crossing the road or walking on a sidewalk have access to many sources of compensation, with one notable exception.
If you are struck by a motor vehicle, whether it is a bus, a car, a motorcycle or even a moped, then you have access to accident benefits (also known as “no-fault benefits” because of their availability regardless of whose fault the accident is). These benefits will replace some of your lost income if you are off work due to injuries. They will also cover medical and rehabilitation costs. In some cases, depending on the levels of insurance coverage available, accident benefit coverage may include assistance with housekeeping chores you cannot perform, assistance with caregiving duties you cannot perform for your children or an elderly parent, and assistance with your own self-care (including bathing, dressing, transportation to and from medical appointments, etc.)
A person struck by a motor vehicle while a pedestrian would also be able to sue for pain and suffering, as well as future income losses and future housekeeping and home maintenance assistance, among other things. This is known as a “tort” claim.
The Ontario government has ensured that pedestrians are even protected in hit-and-run situations or in an act of violence.
Pedestrians can make claims under special provisions of their own motor vehicle insurance if they have any. If they don’t operate a motor vehicle and have no such insurance, then pedestrians struck by an operator of a motor vehicle who flees the scene can still make claims for accident benefits and pain and suffering through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (although the level of coverage may not be as high). Even if the pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle on purpose, our firm could access special coverage for him or her as a victim of crime under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.
The one area of pedestrian injury that may not be covered is when a pedestrian is struck by a bicyclist on purpose, or by a bicyclist who flees the scene.
If the cyclist stays, there is no problem as the cyclist’s home insurance would cover the pedestrian’s losses. However, if the cyclist intentionally tried to strike the pedestrian, the cyclist’s home insurance would not cover the claim, as they do not cover intentional acts such as assault.
When a pedestrian is struck by a bicyclist who leaves the scene of the accident, there is no access to accident benefits or any other source of insurance coverage, including the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. That is because the Ontario Insurance Act’s definition of motor vehicle only includes self-propelled vehicles, and not bicycles.
Injured pedestrians should never try to navigate the confusing waters of the Ontario insurance system.
It is important for you to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. They have the knowledge to ensure that you are fully protected from day one until you settle your case or obtain a successful judgment in Court. You need to rely on the best.
At Himelfarb Proszanski, we build winning cases. That’s the HimPro Advantage™.
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