The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that each year nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents, and approximately 76,000 pedestrians in 2012 suffered injuries when hit by a car or truck. These accidents can occur when pedestrians attempt to cross highways. In addition to pedestrian-vehicle incidents, thousands of non-vehicular pedestrian accidents also occur annually. Poor maintenance, sidewalk or parking lot defects, and construction or other debris on walkways can also cause these accidents.
Whether injured by a vehicle or property defect, a pedestrian may recover damages for the injuries suffered if someone else's negligence caused or contributed to the incident. Negligence is the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person in a similar situation would, to protect others from foreseeable risks.
When a pedestrian is injured, there may be more than one party with legal responsibility for the accident. Depending on the circumstances, potential liable parties include:
- The driver of a vehicle that strikes a pedestrian
- The party responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, road, or parking lot where
- The pedestrian himself or herself
Generally, drivers must exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to do so is considered negligence. A few of the most common factors contributing to driver negligence are:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Failing to signal while turning
- Disregarding weather or traffic conditions
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, you should do the following:
- Call the police immediately
- Don’t leave the scene of the accident before help arrives
- Gather names and phone numbers of any witnesses
- Don’t make any statements to anyone, including drivers and insurers
If you or someone you love has been in a pedestrian accident and was hurt, you may be wondering what to do next. Because of laws called statutes of limitations, you only have a set amount of time to bring a claim for your injuries. Therefore, it is best to have an attorney look at your claim right away and help you asses your case.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact our offices today at (415) 395-9000