Accidents Involving Pedestrians
Accidents involving pedestrian are some of the most dangerous and potentially life-threatening. In almost every state and in almost every situation the pedestrian has the right of way and motorists must yield to pedestrians. Similar to car accidents, accidents involving pedestrians start with assessing who was negligent. Even though pedestrians usually have the right of way, pedestrians can still be negligent or contributory negligent.
Accidents Involving a Pedestrian and a Vehicle
Drivers have a duty of reasonable care when they are operating vehicles. If someone fails to exercise reasonable care they are committing negligence. This can occur if someone is impaired, distracted, unaware, or even intoxicated. If someone fails to use reasonable care and an accident occurs that causes damage or injury they may be liable for the damages.
Pedestrians on the other hand only have a duty of reasonable care for their own safety. If a pedestrian fails to take reasonable steps to protect their own safety, they may contribute to their own injuries. This may occur when they fail to use a cross walk, or they run unexpectedly into traffic.
If the pedestrian is a child, they may not understand the danger that surrounds them and for that reason in some jurisdiction’s children cannot be found to be contributorily negligent in they are injured.
Highways and Pedestrians
If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle on the highway it can result in life-threatening injuries. Because pedestrians are not anticipated obstacles or dangers on expressways if they are hit because of their own negligence their ability to recover for their damages may be limited.
If the highways are designed in a dangerous or unsafe manner, the agencies responsible for the design may be found liable in some situation. State and federal agencies also have a legal duty to use reasonable care when they design and build highways and expressways.