Pedestrian 70% at Fault For Jaywalking Collision

Adding to this site’s archived claims involving pedestrian collisions, reasons for judgement were released this week by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing fault for an incident involving a pedestrian who was crossing a street outside of a crosswalk.
In this week’s case (Khodadoost v. Wittamper) the Plaintiff pedestrian started crossing McKay Avenue in Burnaby, BC two car lengths north of the intersection.  The defendant motorist was stopped in the curb southbound lane.  As the pedestrian stepped in front of the vehicle the Defendant started to drive forward as his light had turned green.

In finding the pedestrian 70% at fault for the incident Mr. Justice Betton provided the following reasons:
[13]         The incident occurred while the plaintiff was crossing McKay Avenue at Kingsway Avenue, in Burnaby, British Columbia. He had obtained a ride from a friend, Ms. Khaki-Khaljan, to the area. She pulled off to the right of the northbound lane of McKay Avenue approximately two car lengths north of Kingsway Avenue. When the plaintiff exited the vehicle, he began crossing McKay Avenue west and outside of the crosswalk but moving at an angle toward the crosswalk…
[18]         When the southbound traffic began to move forward, the defendant followed. The plaintiff at that time was adjacent to the front driver’s side corner of the defendant’s car. The defendant’s vehicle may have made a very slight contact with the plaintiff before the defendant initially applied his brakes. When he placed his foot on the brake pedal, however, his foot slid off the pedal allowing his vehicle to move forward, essentially in a second forward motion. At that time, there was contact between the plaintiff and the defendant’s vehicle, and the plaintiff fell or was knocked to the road…
[64]         There is no question that the plaintiff began his crossing of McKay Avenue outside of the crosswalk. That fact is, however, of limited relevance. What is particularly important is the condition of the pedestrian and traffic control signals, and the plaintiff’s positioning relative to the crosswalk as he moved past the center point of the road and across the southbound lanes.
[65]         I am satisfied on the evidence that by the time the plaintiff had begun to cross those southbound lanes, the traffic signal for southbound traffic was green. All of the evidence indicates that traffic generally, including the defendant, had begun to move. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant commented specifically on the condition of the traffic signal, but it is the only logical inference from the evidence as a whole…
[77]         It is my conclusion that the plaintiff must bear the majority of the liability for the incident. I apportion liability 70 percent to the plaintiff and 30 percent to the defendant. An award of damages must be adjusted based on this division of liability.
 

bc injury law, Jaywalking Accidents, Khodadoost v. Wittkamper, Mr. Justice Betton, Pedestrian Collisions

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ERIK
MAGRAKEN

Personal Injury Lawyer

When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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