Seems like every day we read headlines about a pedestrian car accident, not only in Baton Rouge but other places besides Louisiana. On Tremont Street in Boston. Mass Live. In Sacramento. ABC10. In Baltimore. WABLTV11.
When a driver hits a pedestrian, it is a scary occurrence, but not uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 60,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 2006. Fatalities from a pedestrian car accidents in the United States in 2015 reached 5,376 deaths.
Much of this is due to the high cost of owning a car including the growth of urban areas and increased walkability of living areas. In Louisiana, pedestrians and bicycle riders are often forced on the roadway because there are not many sidewalks and designated bike lanes. When a car hits a pedestrian at a speed of over 30 miles per hour, the result is more serious injuries and fatalities. However, even at speeds of only 10 miles per hour, a pedestrian car accident can severely disable the pedestrian in a crash.
Pedestrians More Likely to Be in Accident with Car Than Ever
“On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes. Fourteen percent of all traffic fatalities and an estimated 3 percent of those injured in traffic crashes were pedestrians.” (Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014) – (PDF 1.20 MB)
Even the CDC keeps records of pedestrian car accidents because of their frequency.
When an automobile car accident occurs, sometimes it is the fault of the driver, sometimes the pedestrian. Often, if the pedestrian is killed, a wrongful death claim will ensue. injuredGo.com Law Firm would like to help you decide the best course of action if you are injured in a pedestrian-car accident.
Pedestrian Car Accidents
The duty os care owed is what determines liability is a pedestrian car accident. All parties – both drivers and pedestrians – must exercise ‘reasonable care.’ Usually, negligence is assumed in a pedestrian car accident. However, courts consider many duties owed and factors when deciding negligence and liability.
Driver’s Duty of Care in a Pedestrian Car Accident
Drivers must exercise ‘reasonable care under the circumstances.’ It is considered negligence if the driver does not exercise due care. Some factors leading to a finding of negligence can include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving
- Talking on the phone while 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
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, children between the ages of 5 and 9 are at the greatest risk of being involved in a pedestrian car accident. Because children are less visible and often unpredictable, Louisiana law imposes a higher duty of care on drivers when it comes to children. The presence of children is a warning of danger to the driver to exercise greater care, such as when driving by schools, parks, and residential areas.
Pedestrian’s Duty of Care in a Pedestrian Car Accident
When walking or running, a pedestrian must exercise reasonable care for their individual safety. The pedestrian’s duty is proportionate to the danger presented.
Negligence is assessed when a pedestrian is not exercising reasonable care. A few of the most common factors contributing to pedestrian negligence are:
- Ignoring the “walk” signal at an intersection
- Entering traffic and disrupt the flow
- Failing to use marked crosswalks
- Darting in front of a vehicle
- Walking on the roadway
- Walking without proper visual alerts such as reflectors
Assignment of Fault
The assignment of fault in a legal claim arising from a pedestrian car accident is sometimes simple. A judge or jury decides fault. Evidence this is considered is usually:
- the stories of both the pedestrian and the driver,
- the applicable laws (such as speed limits),
- the findings contained in the police report,
- sometimes expert testimony.
If the driver is clearly at fault for the accident, the pedestrian will usually be able to recover compensation from the driver. If the pedestrian bears all of the blame for the accident, the pedestrian will probably not be able to make a claim.
In some cases, the driver may actually be able to sue the pedestrian for compensation for any harm caused to the car, or for any injuries to the driver.
injuredGo.com Personal Injury Law Firm would like to help you if you have been involved in a pedestrian car accident. Contact us for a free consultation.