Pedestrian Crashes

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What Are Pedestrian Crashes?

The term “Pedestrian Crashes” usually refers to any type of automobile accident that also involves a pedestrian walking on foot. While this term may seem misleading because the pedestrian is not in a car, pedestrian “crashes” are very common, especially in places where there is heavy pedestrian traffic (like in urban areas).

In a pedestrian-vehicle accident, the tendency is to automatically place liability on the driver, since drivers have a duty to maintain safe operation of their vehicle at all times. 

However, the pedestrian can sometimes be held liable, especially where they acted recklessly or negligently by disobeying traffic laws. Pedestrian accidents can also result in serious injury to the pedestrian, driver, passengers, and bystanders. The main element in most pedestrian accidents is whether the pedestrian was acting within their rights and duties as a pedestrian.

What Are Pedestrian “Dart-out” Cases?

Pedestrian “Dart-out” crashes are those where the pedestrian suddenly runs out onto the street, usually from an unseen area like a driveway or a bush.  This is common for cases involving injuries to children getting off of a school bus. For example, the child may suddenly rut out onto the street immediately after getting out of the bus. This can lead to serious injury, as the bus itself may obstruct the view of drivers on the road.

Similar situations are where a child runs out onto the street to chase a ball, or where an adult runs out onto the street to chase a pet, and other similar incidents. In dart-out lawsuits, it can be difficult to tell which party is liable for the accident or injuries. 

For example, the pedestrian may have had a very good reason that they ran out in the street (such as chasing after a child). On the other hand, the driver usually won’t be able to see the pedestrian in time, and therefore it is difficult to hold the driver liable. In most cases, the costs of the losses are offset by insurance. 

However, in the event of a civil lawsuit, the court would need to do some serious accident reconstruction to determine liability. 

What Are “Pedestrian Knock-Down” Cases?

Pedestrian dart out cases are sometimes also called “Pedestrian Knock-Down” cases. However, knock-down cases usually refers to pedestrian injuries where the person was holding a particularly valuable item when they were knocked down, such as a laptop or other item.  In such cases, the driver may also be held liable for damages caused to the property in addition to losses caused by any injuries.

Can a Pedestrian Be Held Liable for Causing an Accident Between Two Cars?

This depends- in some cases, a pedestrian may cause a traffic accident without actually getting injured themselves. For example, if they cross the street while the light is red, they might cause two cars to crash into one another as they attempt to avoid hitting them as they walk. 

In such cases, the court will have to determine whether the pedestrian was acting recklessly or negligently in connection with the vehicle crash. If the court finds that the person was violating traffic laws or was otherwise acting negligently, it may be possible for both drivers to hold the pedestrian liable for damage and injuries. This type of situation is somewhat rare and also can be difficult to prove.  

Do I Need a Lawyer If I’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Crash?

Whether you are the driver or the pedestrian, being involved in pedestrian crash can be a difficult experience to deal with. It’s in your best interests to seek medical attention immediately, and to contact a personal injury lawyer for help with legal matters. Your lawyer can determine whether you have any legal recourse available to you. In most states, pedestrian-automobile accidents may also involve heavy fines and sometimes may involve criminal charges. Contact an attorney for more advice on how to proceed. 

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Last Modified: 04-23-2015 10:16 AM PDT

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