Posts made in June, 2015

Acts of Negligence Resulting to Pedestrian Accidents

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Car Crashes, Personal Injury | 0 comments

While the likelihood of a car driver or passenger getting severely injured in a motor vehicle accident (despite being protected by car’s body) is never isolated, how much more a pedestrian who has nothing to protect his/her body against the forceful impact of an approaching vehicle. This is why pedestrian accidents are either almost always fatal or resulting to severe injuries to the poor pedestrian.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Fact Sheet show that of the 33,561 traffic fatalities in 2012, 4,743 were pedestrians; another 76,000 sustained injuries during the same year.

Anyone, at certain periods of the day, is a pedestrian. It can be a person running or jogging, someone just standing in any street corner, a hiker, or a person who decides to walk to a nearby grocery, to a friend’s house, to the office, or to simply spend some leisure time.

There are different factors that can put pedestrians’ lives at risk. Though majority of the incidences wherein pedestrians get injured or killed involve motor vehicles, there are also non-vehicular causes of pedestrian accidents. These are the poorly-maintained or defective sidewalks and parking lots, faded or lack of crosswalks (especially in rural areas), inadequately lit roads, and debris on walkways.

A personal injury lawyer in Massachusetts would probably note that most pedestrian accidents occur in rural areas at night, when many different factors that compromise pedestrian safety are at work, such as speeding drivers (which is common due to the very light traffic), unlit roads, unaccompanied elders and intoxicated drivers, pedestrians or both.

Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to observe and obey road safety rules as well as exercise reasonable care. While drivers are usually judged as the liable or negligent party in pedestrian accidents, when the case is brought to court, all elements are looked into and there have been instances when it was actually the pedestrian who acted carelessly and caused the accident.

Some of the factors considered by the court in determining acts of negligence include:

a. On the part of the driver:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, even at crosswalks
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
  • Failure to signal, especially when about to make a turn
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions

On the part of the pedestrian:

  • Ignoring the “don’t walk” signal
  • Failure to cross at marked crosswalks
  • Entering and disrupting the flow of traffic
  • Darting in front of vehicles

Pedestrians, who get injured because of the negligence of some drivers or someone who never did a good job in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries they suffer. Being represented by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer or pedestrian accident lawyer, however, would be a necessity in a civil lawsuit as the really liable party will definitely do everything to disprove his/her accountability.

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