Determining Liability in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Pedestrian accident numbers across the United States have been on the rise in recent years. In 2018, the most recent year for which there is complete information, there was a 3 percent increase in the number of pedestrians who died in traffic accidents: a total of 6,283 (the most since 1990).
Most of the time, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing the street, meaning it is typically the driver who is responsible in a pedestrian-vehicle accident. Pedestrians who have been injured in such accidents caused by negligent motorists are entitled to seek compensation for the damages they suffered and an experienced pedestrian accident attorney is crucial to earning the settlement or lawsuit award that the victim or the victim’s family so rightly deserves.
Here is an overview of what you should know when your attorney is filing a pedestrian accident claim and proving liability on the part of the driver.
In most cases, a driver will be considered liable for the injuries a pedestrian suffers in an accident. If a pedestrian crosses the street with the right of way in a marked crosswalk, he or she will have no shared fault in the accident and the driver will clearly be liable.
In some cases, the pedestrian may share some fault in the accident, meaning in states that have pure contributory negligence rules, the pedestrian would be ineligible to recover damages. However, in states that have comparative fault rules, the pedestrian would still be eligible to recover damages, though perhaps the amount of those damages would be reduced by the percentage of fault the pedestrian shared in the accident.
The driver’s attorney and insurance company will fight to assign more fault or negligence to the pedestrian so it is important for the victim to have an experience attorney to represent their rights.
Say, for example, a pedestrian crossed in an area without a crosswalk. A driver still bears liability for causing an accident if they had a reasonable amount of time to notice the pedestrian and get out of the way. The pedestrian will share some liability for the accident, but still may be able to recover compensation in the case (depending on the circumstances) because the onus is on the driver to notice hazards in the street and avoid them.
Steps to take after an accident
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have the right to file an injury claim against the driver of the car that hit you. Your first priority should always be to seek immediate medical attention. If you believe the injuries to be severe, go to the emergency room, otherwise schedule an appointment with your primary care provider as soon as you can get in.
You should call the police to the accident site, take photos of the accident site, your injuries and the car that hit you. Exchange information with the driver, and get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the site. When you return home, contact your insurance provider and alert them to the accident.
Pedestrian accidents can result in severe injuries and some significant upheaval of the victim’s life. It is important that you take immediate action to protect both your health and your finances. For more information about how to proceed and succeed with a pedestrian accident lawsuit, contact an experienced pedestrian accident personal injury attorney at Bond Legal.