Right of Way and Liability
For those of us who can remember back to the days when we were taught to drive (by a licensed instructor) we would remember that we never simply driving for ourselves." We were told that we need to drive for others as well, including our passengers and our fellow drivers on the road. This is carried across to Canadian Law, and the simple fact is that you can be held liable for an accident even though it was caused through extreme negligence on someone else's part." Below, we use an example from an actual case where this happened. In the case of Sant v.Sekhon, Evan Sant was injured when a freightliner collided with the pickup in which he was an occupant." Joel Sant was driving the pickup in question, and chose to run a red light at an intersection, when the freightliner driven by Jharmal Sekhon came into contact with him while driving on a green light. It is very clear that Joel Sant is liable for the accident, but is Jharmal Sekhon liable as well?" He was driving in accordance to the light and he had the right of way." In the eyes of many, he did nothing wrong. The trial Judge found that Joel Sant was ninety-five percent liable, and Jharmal Sekhon was indeed five percent liable. Even though the driver had the right of way, it was still his responsibility to ensure that it was safe to continue driving." The right to drive, as green light indicates, should still be used with caution and only if there are no signs of danger. Capital Transport Corporation and Canada Drayage Inc (the owners of the freightliner in question) and their employed driver (Jharmal Sekhon) the appellants in this case, appealed the decision and cited three main reasons as to why they did not agree with the ruling.
- The decision made by the jury was unfair and if the same evidence were reviewed by any other jury, they would not uphold the initial jury's stance.
- The issue of causation was overlooked by both the jury and the trial Judge
- The tactics of the lawyer representing the plaintiff were questionable and may have tainted the jury's mindset.
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