The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (https://www.nhtsa.gov/) reports that almost 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents each year.
Whether on a sidewalk, crosswalk, running or jogging, pedestrians are very vulnerable to significant injury if they are hit by a car.
If injured by a vehicle, a pedestrian may recover damages for the injuries if the accident was caused by the negligence the driver.
However, responsibility lies with both pedestrians and motorists to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care. Both drivers and pedestrians have general rights and responsibilities or duties.
- Pedestrians have a duty of care for their own personal safety and the care must be proportionate to the danger that is faced.
- Failure to exercise this care indicates a pedestrian contributed to their own injuries and this may have an impact on their case.
- For instance, if a pedestrian walked into traffic while texting, this would indicate the lack of duty of care for personal safety and they may not have a legal case for damages for injuries they sustained.
Generally, pedestrians have the right of way in the crosswalk and on sidewalks. If the signal is working and the signal is signaling “walk”, the pedestrian has the right of way and vehicles must yield to them.
- Drivers have a duty to remain vigilant and aware of pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists at all times.
- Drivers must obey all traffic laws and be particularly aware of pedestrians while making turns or at signalized intersections.
- Motorists should keep windshields clear in order to increase visibility as much as possible and exercise extra caution driving when pedestrians will be especially difficult to spot at night or in poor weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or ice.
Damages you may have suffered being injured as a pedestrian may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
The circumstances of each case is different along with laws of each state, so it’s important to seek the advice of a trusted legal professional to review your case and assist you in protecting your rights.
If you have been hit as a pedestrian as a result of a negligent drive, contact Hinman and Peck, P.C. at (877) 462-9732 for a FREE consultation to see if we can help.