Pedestrian found 90% at fault for his own injuries

In the case of O’Connor v James, a man walking on the street was found 90% at fault for his own injuries. This is an unusual case, in that most cases involving person/vehicle collisions result in the driver being blamed. The facts of the case were as follows:

chris bungay vancouver personal injury lawyerMr. O’Connor and his brother had a few drinks of vodka together. After having these drinks, Mr. O’Connor left his home around 11 PM to go for a walk and make a phone call. He was walking along No. 6 road in Richmond British Columbia. He was walking on the right side of the road, meaning he was not facing traffic. Within a few minutes, he heard a squealing of tires behind him, and was struck by an automobile. He suffered a number of serious injuries including compound fractures of his tibia and fibula along with fractured ribs. He required surgery and had a plate and rod inserted into his leg.

Bungay Law Office 
(ICBC injury claims lawyers)
Vancouver Pedestrian Accident Lawyers 

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The main issue to be determined in course is who was responsible for the accident? Was Mr. O’Connor at all to blame for his own injuries?

In a surprise decision, the judge found that Mr. O’Connor was 90% responsible for the accident. The judge noted that Mr. O’Connor was not walking on the shoulder of the road, but instead was walking on the paved road itself. The Court also emphasized that Mr. O’Connor was wearing dark/black clothing, which made any vehicle hard to see him. Further, the judge noted that Mr. O’Connor’s judgement was impaired by alcohol at the time of the accident.

The Court also decided that the driver, Mr. James, was also partially responsible, but only 10%. The judge found that Mr. James was going too fast in light of the icy road conditions at the time.

If Mr. O’Connor had been hit while wearing the right clothing, on the proper side of the road, this case likely would have turned out much differently. In such a case, Mr. O’Connor may not have been blamed at all. However, in this particular case, because he was 90% responsible, he would be entitled to only a small fraction of the money he could have gotten otherwise. Most significantly, he was left with permanent scarring and disability.

This case is a good lesson for anyone walking on our roadways as winter approaches and the daylight leaves us. Always wear light/reflective clothing at night, walk facing traffic, and if you must have a few drinks, try to stay inside or have someone sober drive you to your next destination.

Bungay Law Office 
(ICBC injury claims lawyers)
Vancouver Pedestrian Accident Lawyers 

Call us today for a free consultation, 24 hours – 7 days a week 604-684-4300 

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