Most of the discussion about motor vehicle safety focuses on avoiding collisions between vehicles. However, some of the most deadly accidents involve cars colliding with pedestrians.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association, in 2012 nearly 5,000 pedestrians were killed and approximately 76,000 more were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles.
Often, drivers of motor vehicles are left unscathed when colliding with a pedestrian, as their vehicle protects them from harm. A pedestrian has no such protection in a crash. A collision that hardly scratches the paint on a car can leave a pedestrian with head trauma or other severe injuries.
All drivers owe a legal duty to pedestrians to practice careful and conscious driving. When a driver breaches this duty, and a pedestrian is injured as a result, the injured may recover compensation for damages through a personal injury lawsuit. In the case of a fatal accident, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In some cases, more than one party may be held liable for a pedestrian accident. For instance, the party responsible for maintaining a sidewalk or crosswalk may be found negligent in some cases, and can be made to share liability.
However, it’s also important to note that pedestrians have certain duties, as well. In some cases — for instance, in cases of jaywalking — pedestrians may be found partly at fault for the accident in which they were injured. In such cases, courts typically limit the amount of compensation the injured party may receive.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, or if someone you loved has been killed in a pedestrian accident, you will likely face huge medical expenses, lost wages and other, less easily defined damages such as pain and suffering. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options for pursuing compensation to help you with these damages.
Source: injury.findlaw.com, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview,” Accessed April 17, 2017