When you walk along the side of the road or step into a crosswalk, a moving vehicle hitting you is the last thing on your mind. Most people drive in a responsible manner and assume that others do too. One speeding vehicle is all it takes to change that view forever.
Pedestrian related accidents tend to produce some of the more severe injuries that occur in accidents involving moving vehicles. Either you walk away with a few bruises and a bad scare or you suffer life-changing injuries. Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries are among the common and severe injuries a moving vehicle inflicts on a pedestrian. If you or your loved one was involved in a pedestrian related accident, here are a few questions to expect with a lawsuit.
Did the Driver’s Action or Inaction Fail to Fulfill Their Legal Duty to You?
You may believe there is no question as to who is at fault in your accident. Many folks believe that when the accident is auto versus pedestrian that the auto is always at fault. This is erroneous thinking. As the injured party, you must show the driver was negligent. This means that the driver did not act in the way a reasonable person would to protect others.
Did You Contribute at All?
If you were in a crosswalk or not even walking or standing in the road, there is seldom any question that the driver was negligent. If the driver was talking on their cell phone and failed to notice you crossing the street, arguably the driver was negligent even if you were not in a crosswalk. However, you may be partly at fault if you failed to act in a reasonable manner.
Did You Get Injured or Have Any Valuables Damaged?
As mentioned earlier, pedestrians usually have one extreme or the other when making contact with a moving vehicle. If you stumbled as a slow-moving vehicle sideswiped you, fright and bruises may be the only injuries sustained. If you suffered no injuries, had no damages or lost work due to the accident, no damages are due.
Unfortunately, most pedestrian versus moving vehicle accidents result in severe, life-changing injuries. If this happened to you or your loved one, the extent of your injuries and any permanent effects are major factors in any lawsuit. Additionally, if you were carrying an expensive purse or briefcase, you may get compensated for their replacement value.
Did the Driver Have a Presumption of Negligence?
Many states require the driver of a moving vehicle to adhere to reasonable standards. If the driver displayed conduct considered inherently dangerous, you have no duty to prove his negligence.
Some circumstances where a driver has a duty to prove he was not negligent include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving on the wrong side of the road, or violating the right-of-way rules. Some states now include distracted driving to that list. If this happened to you, contact a pedestrian motor vehicle accident lawyer services for advice.
Both Parties Have a Duty to Show Reasonable Care
Much of the time the driver failed to observe the speed limit and stay alert by scanning for potential problems. If the driver’s worn brakes failed, he failed to maintain a safe vehicle. This is true even though he tried to stop before hitting you.
As the pedestrian, your duty to others includes using reasonable caution and care. This means not darting in front of a moving vehicle or walking out into traffic. You have a duty to cross the street in a crosswalk and obey the “walk” sign.
No matter what the circumstances, you should always speak to an expert if you are a pedestrian hit by a moving vehicle. Do not assume either you or the driver was entirely at fault.