Pedestrian accidents are a commonplace occurrence across the United States. In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association revealed that pedestrian deaths touched a 30-year high with the country reporting 6,283 deaths. Unlike motor vehicle drives, pedestrians do not have any equipment around them to protect themselves. Therefore, they are more prone to injuries and pedestrians are often bear the brunt of the accident. If you have been a victim of a pedestrian accident due to a driver’s recklessness, you have the right to demand compensation for the damages you incur. Because pedestrian accident laws vary from state to state and involve numerous stages and legal document submissions, it can be difficult for you to navigate the legal procedures on your own. The best way to ensure that your rights and interests are protected is by hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Pedestrian accidents occur when a motor vehicle driver hits or strikes a person on foot. These accidents can occur at intersections, car parking lots, crosswalks, etc. Other factors such as bad lighting and weather conditions can contribute to accidents.
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Both motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians are legally obliged to behave responsibly and reasonably. Each party has a duty of care towards other people and vehicles on the road. Let’s take a closer look at the duties of care motor vehicle drivers and pedestrians are expected to exercise:
Drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in a reasonable manner without compromising the safety of others. If a driver fails to do so, it is considered to be negligence and they become punishable by law. Driver behaviors considered to be negligent are:
Besides the legal obligation of behaving responsibly, motor vehicle drivers have a special duty of care towards children. Children between the ages of 5 to 9 are at a greater risk of being hit by vehicles. Because children are smaller and unpredictable drivers are expected to exercise greater care when in a region where children are present. For instance, drivers are expected to drive cautiously when passing through areas near schools, play areas, and residential areas.
Similar to a driver, a pedestrian is also responsible to care for their own safety. If a pedestrian fails to take the necessary steps to avoid endangering their safety, they can be charged with contributory negligence. A few common instances that qualify as pedestrian negligence are:
If you were in an accident where you upheld your duty of care, you have the right to staking a claim demanding compensation for your damages. Proving negligence is crucial to recovering the damages due to the accident. This can be understood by breaking the process down into the following phases:
As mentioned earlier, motor vehicle drivers are expected to uphold their duty of care. If they fail to do so, they are responsible for a breach of duty that makes them responsible for the accident. Negligent behavior such as drunk driving, driving while texting, and speeding qualify as a breach of duty.
The next step in the process is to prove that the injuries and the damages you incurred were caused because the motor vehicle driver was in a breach of duty. For instance, if a driver was speeding above the permitted limit in the region when they hit and injured you, their breach of duty was directly the cause of your injury.
Lastly, you should be able to prove that the breach of duty caused injuries and damages and it is only reasonable that the driver compensates you for them. The extent of damages can vary from physical injury to emotional and mental trauma.
If you or any of your loved ones have been injured in a pedestrian accident and you feel it is the driver’s fault, you can demand them to pay for all the damages you incur. You can do so in two ways:
You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and demand compensation for all the damages you have incurred due to the accident. This can be done in two ways:
The first step in the lawsuit is to prove that it was the driver’s negligence that led to the accident and caused the injuries you suffered. This is done by collecting evidence, recording witnesses’ statements, and analyzing the police report registered after the accident. After the fault is proven, you will have to evaluate the value of the damages you incurred. You need to ensure that factors such as the lost time at work, emotional stress, and pain and suffering caused by the accident are taken into consideration during the process.
Most personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court. However, in some cases such as a personal injury lawsuit after a DUI car accident, the lawsuit can only be settled in court.
As stated earlier, pedestrian deaths have registered an increase in recent times. If you have lost a loved one to a pedestrian accident, you can demand the driver to pay for your losses by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Every state in the US has specific laws around wrongful death. Using the lawsuit you can demand compensation for lost support, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
Hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer will benefit you in the following ways:
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