Sidewalk Liability Ruling (2010-02-14)

February 14, 2010, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

In a recent decision by the British Columbia Court of Appeal (Bradley v Bath) the court of appeal considered a scenario where a bicyclist, while biking on a sidewalk and was struck by a car, was found not to be at fault for the accident.  The trial judge found that the driver of the car, which struck the bicyclist as it was exiting a gas station, was 100% at fault for the accident.  At the time the bicyclist was riding his bike on the sidewalk, opposing traffic, contrary to the Motor Vehcile Act (BC) which prohibited the riding of a bike on a sidewalk (note that Ontario law prohibits bicycles with rims larger than 50" should not be permitted on the sidewalk). 

The court of appeal decided that the trial judge failed to consider whether the bicyclist failed to take reasonable care for his own safety and whether such failure was one of the causes of the accident.  The court of appeal decided, based on the facts at trial, that the bicyclist was at fault and that his fault was one of the causes of the accident.  The bicyclist was driving on the sidewalk, opposing traffic, contrary to the law.  The bicyclist was aware of the car approaching the exit and rather than make eye contact, or stop his bike, he continued past the exit assuming that the car driver saw him and would not accelerate his car.  The bicyclist was found to be 50% at fault for continuing to ride his bicycle across he path of the car that was exiting the gas station.

Posted under Bicycle Accidents, Car Accidents, Catastrophic Injury, Personal Injury

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