Pedestrian Accidents

Whether you are struck by an out-of-control vehicle while walking on the sidewalk, are the victim of a hit and run accident or are run-over by a negligent motorist who fails to stop at a pedestrian crossing, a pedestrian accident can be a highly traumatic and life-altering experience.

If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, whether as the driver or the pedestrian, it will be helpful to involve an attorney from the start as the law on the apportionment of blame can get very complicated. One of the reasons for this is that it is not always clear who shall be held liable for the accident. To get to the bottom of this issue, it will sometimes, for instance, be necessary to appoint accident experts.

Firstly it is very important that you report the accident. Make sure that the police report exactly how you saw the accident happening. Next document any damage to your vehicle or injuries and make sure that you get the contact details of eye witnesses, if any, as this could be crucial for you case.  It will also help if you keep all paperwork associated with your accident, including medical bills and doctors’ reports.

If you were the pedestrian and have been injured in an accident, you might have a claim for damages against the motorist who collided with you.  In general courts will expect that you would obey general traffic laws and behave with good, common sense: This include only crossing the road at pedestrian crossings and traffic lights, use the pavement, keep a proper lookout before crossing the road and watch your children carefully.

If you were involved in an accident while crossing the road between moving traffic, you will be held liable for part of your own damages and you claim will be reduced accordingly.  If the motorist was found to have been negligent, you will be able to claim for your medical expenses in treating your injuries and any future conditions that can arise from damage to, for instance, you spine or neck. If you had an existing condition that was aggravated by the accident, you will also be able to file a claim for any treatment necessitated by the traumatic injury. You must, however, remember to ask your attorney if no-fault laws that will require your own insurance company to pay your medical bills do not apply in your state. You can also claim for pain and suffering. If the breadwinner of a family is killed in a pedestrian accident, his or her family will also be able to file a wrongful death suit, claiming for loss of support and emotional trauma.

Just as pedestrians are expected to obey traffic rules and be careful, courts expect motorists to drive in a safe and responsible way. Lawyers call this a “duty of care.” Some court decisions held that motorists have a greater duty of care as their vehicles have the ability to inflict serious injury on pedestrians. This duty of care is applied even stricter when children are around as their behavior are considered to be more erratic and they are not expected to be aware of all the dangers of the road.

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