If you were in any way involved in a pedestrian accident, there are probably many questions going through your mind. These accidents can lead to devastating consequences on the part of the pedestrian, in some cases life-long disabilities and in other cases, death. You need to get as much information as possible regarding your case if you or a loved one were the victim of a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable groups of people that use U.S. roadways. Not only do they have no defense or protection when it comes to a traffic collision, but motorists often forget to look out for anyone other than other vehicles. Depending on the circumstances of the case as well as the state law, the motorist could be fully responsible, partially responsible, or not liable in any way. If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, it is imperative that a strong legal advocate is on your side protecting you and ensuring that you are treated with justice.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, there are nearly 5,000 deaths every year relating to pedestrian accidents. With a further 78,000 being injured, this is a serious problem in the U.S. that must be addressed. There are multiple causes that could lead to an accident involving a pedestrian, some due to the fault of a vehicle and some the fault of the pedestrian. Under law, drivers are expected to exercise reasonable caution and care. The court understands that accidents may happen and it is not anyone’s fault, however, there are circumstances that can arise regarding liability.
Some instances that could lead to a driver being held responsible for an accident involving a pedestrian could be inattentive or distracted drivers. This could range from talking on a cell phone, texting, talking to another passenger, eating, or anything that causes them to take their eyes off of the road, even for a second. Another issue that could be a factor is reckless driving. Speeding, cutting corners, failing to stop at stop signs, or failing to yield may become a problem when it leads to the driver neglecting to see the pedestrian. Lastly, driving in bad weather conditions means that drivers should adjust their speed. If they do not, they may not be able to slow down quickly enough.
However, as aforementioned, vehicles are not the only parties to blame regarding these accidents. The rules of the road must also be followed by those who are on foot. Intersections are generally governed by traffic signals. If a pedestrian fails to follow these rules and instead jaywalks, any injury that occurs could be blamed on the pedestrian. Also, if for some reason the pedestrian darts off of a sidewalk into the path of an oncoming vehicle, they could be held liable rather than the car. Whatever the case, if you were injured in a pedestrian accident, your first step should be to enlist the help of a car accident attorney. They could ensure that your rights are protected and your best interests upheld.