When a pedestrian has been hit by a vehicle, it’s almost like fault is obvious. Most people will say that the vehicle driver is liable for injuries because there is no reason to ever hit a pedestrian by accident. However, just as many accidents go, it happens from time to time. And just because a pedestrian was hit, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t their fault. Today we’ll take a closer look at pedestrian accidents, what should be done afterwards, liability, and more.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Occur
Statistics show that pedestrians are involved in 13% of vehicle-related fatalities. Yes, drivers are legally responsible for controlling their vehicles at all times, but sometimes accidents are not their fault. If you have been injured in your accident, you may sometimes find that your damages are reduced if you made a mistake and walked out in front of a vehicle. Here are some of the common reasons why these accidents occur:
Improper Lane Use: Most accidents between pedestrians and drivers occur because improper lane use. A pedestrian could be forced onto the road, leading to one of these terrible and serious accidents.
Unmarked Crosswalks: Intersections are one of the main places where pedestrians get hit every year. Pedestrian pathways on roads make things easier and allow drivers to see where people may be walking, but if they are not marked properly, it can lead to issues.
Left-Hand Turns: A large majority of pedestrians are hit by cars that are turning left because the drivers are usually looking elsewhere, such as negotiating when to turn, rather than looking straight ahead at those walking.
Distractions: Sometimes, texting pedestrians aren’t watching where they are going and walk out onto the roadways, causing an accident.
The Driver’s Duty of Care
In most cases, it is the fault of the driver in a pedestrian-on-vehicle accident. Drivers simply owe pedestrians a duty of care to watch out for them at all times and navigate the roads as safely as possible. If they do not, this is considered to be negligence. Some of the ways in which drivers act negligently each year is by driving distracted, failing to yield to the right of way to pedestrians, disregarding weather conditions, and failing to signal while turning.
Determining Fault After an Accident
No matter who you believe was at fault for the accident, you should always seek medical treatment immediately. This is one of the best ways to document your injuries and the impact the accident left on you. After these accidents, it can be very difficult to determine who was at fault, but it helps to have that documentation later down the line so that you can show the courts the effect it had on you and how much you deserve in compensation.
Often times, if a driver is found liable, they disobeyed the rules of the road, forgot to come to a full stop at a stop sign, were caught speeding, or were distracted while they were driving. In accidents where it is the fault of the pedestrian, sometimes it is caused by jaywalking, being in the crosswalk at an inappropriate time, or walking on the road instead of the sidewalk.
However, in the many cases where both parties were at fault for the accident, the “comparative fault rule” will likely come into play. This says that, whatever damages you are owed, they will diminish based on your percentage of fault in the accident.
As you can see, there are many elements that determine how much you will receive in damages for your injuries after you have been hit by a vehicle. Determining fault can be a difficult thing to do, which is why you may need the help of an attorney. Call us today at the Accident Law Group at 602-262-4254 to talk about your case and find out how we can help. We have experience in these accidents and can help you achieve the compensation you deserve.