Pedestrian accidents are often left unreported, as most pedestrians refrain from reporting their accidents from the police. Even with that in mind, recent statistics show that pedestrian fatalities are at an all-time high in the past three decades.
Who Is Considered a Pedestrian?
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that a pedestrian is:
“Any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash. These exclude people on personal conveyances like roller skates, inline skates, skateboards, baby strollers, scooters, toy wagons, motorized skateboards, motorized toy cars, Segway-style devices, motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs, and scooters for those with disabilities.”
According to that definition, everyone is a pedestrian at some point throughout their week. Whether it’s walking from your car to your workplace, taking a jog after work, or just going for a walk with your dog, pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere.
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can change your life forever. It’s important to understand who is to blame in a pedestrian accident should you find yourself involved in one, in order to allow you to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Duty of Care
Every accident is different, and every accident has a liable party. There are instances where the driver is at fault, and there are also situations where the pedestrian is the negligent party. Liability in pedestrian accidents is determined by discovering which party breached their duty of care.
Duty of care is a legal obligation individuals have to prevent their actions from harming others and is the first element that must be established in a personal injury case.
Pedestrian’s Duty of Care
As a pedestrian, you may be wondering what duty you have while walking from your car to your workplace or during your morning jog. While you may not be doing anything to cause harm, you have a duty to protect your own safety and those around you.
If you are struck by a driver as you are walking across the street as the pedestrian timer hits 0, you may find yourself liable for contributory negligence. Contributory negligence means that you contributed to your own injury.
While pedestrians may be liable for their injuries, it’s much more common for the driver to be the responsible party.
Driver’s Duty of Care
As a driver, the moment you take to the streets, you have a responsibility to drive safely for both yourself and others around you. If you are distracted, driving under the influence, speeding, or fail to give pedestrians their right of way and cause an accident, you are likely to be held liable for your negligence.
Additionally, reasonable care goes beyond disobeying traffic laws. You must obey school, residential, and construction zone speed limits. This includes exercising patience and thoughtfulness, as there are unexpected situations that you must be wary of, such as a child running across the street chasing a ball.
Our Team Can Help Determine Fault in Your Accident
Because there are so many different factors involved when it comes to determining liability in a pedestrian accident, it’s imperative for your recovery that you speak with a qualified personal injury attorney.
At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, our team of trusted Los Angeles pedestrian accident attorneys has helped injured victims recover millions in order to help them return to their pre-accident lifestyles as best as they can.
Call (800) 905-8777 today for more information on how we can help, or you can contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.